Press "Enter" to skip to content

Tau Pan Camp, October 2023

We watched in awe as a mother honey badger spent a week teaching its subadult baby to hunt.

Yet, the lessons ended abruptly one day when the mother unexpectedly chased the baby away. The duo returned days later, with the mother brandishing a snake to keep the curious baby at bay. Playful bat-eared foxes and an African wildcat’s evening hunt were equally memorable moments from October. 

Brown hyena at the Tau Pan Camp waterhole

Then, there was the early morning drama as guests spotted a brown hyena at the Tau Pan Camp waterhole. It suddenly disappeared into the darkness, but to everyone’s delight, it returned during breakfast, offering splendid photo opportunities. 

Unlike their more socially oriented counterparts, spotted hyenas, brown hyenas tend to be more solitary, frequently foraging alone or in small family groups. Their opportunistic feeding behaviour encompasses skilled scavenging – they often feast on carcasses – and active hunting of small mammals, birds, and insects.

The great Kalahari black-maned lions of Tau pan

The resident Tau Pan Pride of eight lions showcased impressive ambush techniques during the enchanting golden hours of the morning at the camp waterhole. After several missed attempts, the lions retreated to the shade of the guest rooms for a day of leisure until trying again in the cool of dusk. Another notable highlight was seeing a mother and subadult male with two tiny cubs finding shade under an umbrella thorn acacia at San Pan. Witnessing two subadult lions attempting to take down a fully grown oryx added another thrilling encounter to our fantastic game drive log. 

Oryx kalahari desert

In the afternoons, a small herd of six bachelor elephants became a daily spectacle at the camp waterhole, seeking relief from the heat with refreshing drinks and showers. The bone-dry start of the month attracted a plentiful congregation of general game around the waterhole besides. Greater kudus, giraffes, and wildebeests quenched their thirst. Springboks, red hartebeests, and prized desert antelope, herds of oryx, were seen out in the grasslands.  

A mother cheetah with three cubs, estimated to be five to six months old, graced us with their presence for a week. While we didn’t witness kills, the cubs’ bloodstains on their mouths and full tummies hinted at successful hunts.

Leopard tracks were visible around the camp, especially in the mornings, taunting us with their tantalizing proximity. One morning, we enjoyed a tranquil encounter with a female resting below a small umbrella thorn acacia. We then watched another leopard try to land a steenbok, but it missed. 

Kalahari ostrich

Summer brought avian guests like the yellow-billed kite, common buzzards, and red-necked falcon, complementing our resident birds, like the cattle egrets and ostriches. Raptors, including pale chanting goshawks and gabar goshawks in various morphs, also showcased their hunting prowess. 

(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!)