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Lagoon Camp, October 2023

The charismatic Mazabuka leopardess captivated guests when she appeared with her two cubs. We witnessed the trio devour an impala and saw the family feasting on a deceased elephant, the spectacle unfolding at Badisa Island.

Our guides also located another subadult female, perched high on a tree, and her swollen nipples hinted at new cubs.

October proved exceptional for African wild dog enthusiasts. Two distinct packs, one of ten members and another of two, showcased their wild and untamed spirit. From hunting along the Main Road to playful moments near Marobalo a Ditshwene, these wild dogs added a dynamic and vibrant energy to the landscape.

The two resident cheetah brothers made some moves, expanding their territory into the dry expanse and occasionally venturing into the neighbouring area. The ever-present lions influenced their movements, and on the 29th, they marked their homecoming with a successful impala kill.

Spotted hyenas had active dens, and our engaging morning game drives often featured these intriguing creatures and their adorable little ones.

Elephants northern Botswana

Giraffes gracefully nibbled on the flowers of the knobbly combretum in picturesque scenery that also featured massive herds of elephants and buffalos, along with sable, roan, and the tsessebe protecting darling newborns.

Bounding bushbabies and migrant birds

The nocturnal realm was alive with jackals, bat-eared foxes, springhares, scrub hares, civets, aardwolves, African wildcats, and lesser bushbabies making captivating appearances during night drives. African civets are omnivorous, consuming various food items, including fruits, insects, small mammals, birds, eggs, and sometimes carrion. They are particularly known for their fondness for specific fruits and are considered critical in seed dispersal in places like the Kwando Private Concession.

Carmine bee eaters nesting Botswana

Carmine bee-eaters, broad-billed and European rollers were standard sightings on the bird checklist. We also observed golden weavers weaving intricate nests in preparation for summer breeding while raptors such as yellow-billed kites and short-tailed eagles graced the skies.

The stealthy water monitor lizard and the stoic crocodile added a prehistoric touch to the riverbanks and lagoons of the Kwando River. A spotted bush snake was sighted near camp. The delicate flutter of butterflies, including the citrus swallowtail, African monarch, and diadem, brought a peaceful brilliance to the landscape.

The lion landscape at Lagoon Camp

The Holy Pride, accompanied by eight playful lion cubs, revitalized the area near Water Cut and Lebengula South.

Meanwhile, the Mma Dikolobe Pride, famous for its four cubs, frequented the Air Strip Road and Muddy Waters Stranglers. They exhibited remarkable hunting skills, taking down a tsessebe on the Link from Pangolin to 1st Lagoon. Their prowess continued with successful hunts of zebras south of the camp and along the Pangolin Road. A coalition of three male lions, including the Northern Boys, added to the drama, and we often witnessed them showcasing dominance. We also located the Holy Pride feeding on an elephant, while nearby, two male lions rested in the shade by Lebengula South, their bellies full.

(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!)