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Moremi Crossing, September 2022

African wild dogs, serval, black-backed jackals, lions, leopards and spotted hyenas graced outings at Moremi Crossing throughout the month. It was especially fascinating to have easy access to the Spotted hyena den near the airstrip, and guests loved watching the stunts of the pups as they emerged, blinking from the den into the bright spring sunshine. 

We also had regular sightings of a leopardess with cubs. Late one afternoon, returning from sundowners, we located a leopard on the stalk. She crept into position with incredible poise. Once within a few metres, she successfully ambushed a red lechwe and pounced to nab a suffocating hold on the struggling antelope.

The lechwe slowly succumbed to the bite, but before it was complete, the leopard released the animal (by now unconscious) and encouraged her young apprentice to complete the act. This did not go well in the first few attempts, but the youngster finally earned a firm grip and finished the task set for her. This critical life skill ensures the future of this young cat, and we’re delighted that Moremi Crossing provides such an excellent schooling environment!

Crocodile Moremi Crossing

In camp, we saw banded mongooses and small-spotted genets and during mokoro rides, guides noticed reptile life bounced back with the warmth. Frogs, snakes, crocodiles and water monitor lizards were added to the roll call, and the Okavango Delta waters began to drop from their peak. 

As we slowly moved into summer, trees showed their colours, with the Combretum and Sausage trees all flowering. Although they are pollinated by several birds and insects, it is at night that the scent of the Sausage tree flower really flourishes, bringing a fragrance to the night air. (As well as pollinating bats!) 

Beautiful birdlife at Moremi Crossing

The arrival of the summer avian migrants added beauty to the bush. This month we saw African fish eagles, White-backed vultures, Saddle-billed storks, African jacanas, Blacksmith lapwings, Red-billed hornbills, Verreaux’s eagle-owl, Lilac-breasted rollers, Squacco herons and Spur-winged geese. It was especially exciting to have vultures nesting in camp. Over the past few years, many vulture species have fallen victim to poisoning and poaching throughout Southern Africa, and we are thrilled they chose Moremi Crossing to build a home. As one species that helps to “clean up” in the bush, their importance cannot be overemphasized.

Sensational stargazing

Evenings warmed slightly, and we hosted awesome star-gazing sessions on the open airstrip allowing guests to wrap themselves in the universe and learn more about the stars, their stories and the various legends. Here in Botswana, we call the Southern Cross constellation the Dithuthlwa, which means “the giraffes”. Some cultures also believe the Milky Way is a footpath for their ancestors to walk along.

Moremi Crossing Camp Boating Okavango

Speaking of the people of Botswana, we celebrated Independence Day at the end of September. We hosted a surprise sundowner for all the guests with Botswana flags and a few traditional snacks, which included waterlily tuber, or Tswii. A local delicacy in the Okavango Delta. 

(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!)