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Dinare Camps, December 2023

A new lion pride heightened excitement this month. Boasting a headcount of approximately ten members — four youthful males and six females — moved into the Dinare Private Reserve, traversing the terrain around Mma and Rra Dinare camps.

This intriguing development signifies the coexistence of four distinct prides in the region: the established River Boys, Gomoti Boys, T Pride, and this new pride known as Batshabi. One afternoon, we tracked the Batshabi Pride trailing a buffalo herd, displaying remarkable stalking and ambushing strategies, resulting in the successful takedown of a female buffalo.

The resilient pack of 26 African wild dogs remained in the area. Impressively, the younger members of the pack have already joined the ranks of the seasoned hunters, displaying cooperative and skilful behaviour in several instances during our game drives.

Cheetah Santawani

As for the cheetahs, four brothers continued their patrol of the reserve, and we observed two females enjoying the plentiful prey species. In the last week of the month, we located the cheetahs mating and expect the cubs next year!  

Kwando guides also located a new spotted hyena den near the Dibatana water pan, and each time we visited, at least three or four members of the clan lazed about.

The leopards of the Dinare Private Reserve

The formidable Ralebodu leopard continued to exert his dominance over the territory. Additionally, a different youthful male consistently frequented the Rra Dinare Camp area. Among the leopard residents is a female with two young ones, both at the tender age of around six months, adding a touch of familial charm.

Abundant and diverse, the general game population thrived this summer. Majestic kudus, agile impalas, graceful red lechwe, and the stately presence of numerous buffalos and elephants. The water scarcity before the rains commenced in force made it easier to spot large crocodiles and snakes like pythons, mambas, and geckos. We watched as termites crafted beautiful mounds across the Okavango Delta terrain, and rains later in December cloaked the land in a vibrant green hue punctuated by the emergence of different flowers. The arrival of most intra-African migratory birds included woodland kingfishers, cuckoos, and woolly-necked storks.

(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!)