Dinare

Dinare Camps, May 2022

This month’s sightings highlighted the circle of life and its meaning in this wild part of the Okavango Delta.

Late one afternoon, our guests were returning to Mma Dinare Camp when they came across the sad sight of a dead baby elephant. The family were nowhere near, but it is worth briefly noting that elephants have a fascinating relationship with death. Herd members often spend significant time with a deceased family member, touching, sniffing, and nudging the remains. They have also been known to return to the bones of their family members and demonstrate the same practices months later. Anyone who might ever doubt the sentient nature of Loxodonta africana needs only see this ritual to forever change their view of these remarkable animals. All signs pointed to natural death, and herein lies the cycle of nature; the next day, a pride of five lions fed on the remains. When they finished, the Spotted hyenas and Black-backed jackals moved in to enjoy their morsels. The sad loss ensures the survival of others and a return to nature.

In more positive news, the resident pride of eight lions re-remerged, having taken an extended leave of absence from around the camp. Despite their arrival, the other predators have remained in the immediate vicinity of Rra Dinare Camp. We enjoyed numerous nearby leopard sightings, cheetah feeding on a steenbok, and the ubiquitous hyenas were always keen to put in an appearance. A pack of seven wild dogs was also spotted around Rra Dinare camp, beside the fire break.

Many avian migrants have headed north as the cooler winds rolled in. However, a vast array of birdlife remained, including the herons, eagles, owls, and cheeky hornbills. Amongst other things, hornbills are seen as a symbol of positivity, good luck, and optimism. Look closely: when perched on a tree, they always look up at the sky. You will never see this little optimist’s beak fall, and it consistently faces upwards with hope for the future.

What will you find on a walking safari?

On a nature walk one morning, we came across lion spoor and spent the morning tracking these felines on foot. In some safari moments, not seeing the animal can be as exciting as seeing it… imagine yourself slowly walking, following the tracks, learning the alarm calls that can alert you to the presence of a predator. The senses strain to detect the slightest sign of these massive cats. On this occasion, the tracks led off into the thick vegetation, and we abandoned the search. However, the excitement and stories of the walk lasted throughout the day as the walk was recounted — and everyone pretended they didn’t jump when the hidden impala ram snorted from behind a termite mound!

Finally, the mythical Okavango Delta flood is still a way from us. Still, we enjoyed mokoro outings and ticked off African Jacanas, elephants coming to the edge of the Gomoti River for a drink, Red lechwe herds, Common reedbucks and the gorgeous Angolan reed frogs. Nevertheless, we may receive some unusual and unexpected flood patterns this year and hope to report more on this next month.

(Please note: For the safety of the animals, we do not disclose the location of either rhino or pangolin sightings. Accompanying pictures are from our Kwando Photo Library which consists of all your great photo submissions over the years, it may not be the most up to date, but we felt it was worthy of a feature alongside this month’s Sightings Report!)

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