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Tau Pan Camp, September 2023

September brought riveting lion sightings, with all three lion prides showcasing their vibrant health.

The eight-month-old cubs of the San Pan Pride were a particular sensation, their growth evident as they strength with each passing day.

In the sweltering summer, the Tau Pan Pride (the reigning rulers of the area) graced the camp frequently, taking respite by guest rooms after drinking from the waterhole. Tensions brewed between the Tau Pan and Airstrip Prides, marked by noisy nocturnal escapades around the edge of the camp.

A relaxed female leopard was located leisurely feasting on a steenbok carcass atop a tree, a scene repeated with another catch later. A brief post-dinner appearance by another male leopard added a thrill to the camp atmosphere.

Tau Pan Camp Aerial

A serene male cheetah graced the southern pan, offering a delicate balance of grace and power. Tracking this slinking creature proved challenging, especially in the presence of the formidable Tau Pan pride, known for chasing away competitors.

While brown hyenas remained elusive to the eyes, their tracks painted silent stories on roads and around the waterhole.

Springboks making a fuss and elephants at the camp waterhole

The landscape echoed the clashes of springbok horns as males engaged in spirited duels for the favour of the females. Two dominant gemsbok males engaged in a fifteen-minute photogenic battle, highlighting the intense dynamics of the animal kingdom. Other visitors to the waterhole included kudus and wildebeests, and siestas were often momentarily abandoned to witness the big male elephants drinking.

Wildebeest Central Kalahari

Small mammals sighted included yellow mongooses and slender mongooses scavenging for food, bat-eared foxes foraging for scorpion morsels, and ground squirrels leisurely basking in the shade. Black-backed jackals rested while honey badgers dug in energetic bouts, unearthing their feast of snakes, lizards, and skinks.

Pairs of vultures were spotted nesting on top of the camel thorn acacia trees. The Southern pale chanting goshawks also nested on top of the camel thorn acacia, and we were delighted to see their chicks tucked in safely.

(Please note: For the safety of the animals, we do not disclose the precise 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!)