The river flows swiftly past Lagoon Camp
– the dawn slowly breaking over the churning waters as the sun plays off the ripples at the rivers edge. The sound of a fish eagle calls in the distance as the hippos slowly wake, greeting our guests for yet another day of wondrous Africa!
Being awoken to a cacophony of animal sounds, there can be no doubt that there are some great things to see – a lioness perched expertly atop a termite mound was one such ighting. Her spots characteristic of her youth; a clear sign that she was not alone in her wonderings – there must have been other members of her pride nearby! The wild dogs have been hugely active this month, being spotted multiple times throughout the concession – the family looking healthy and playful. They were even seen taking a warthog as the sunset for the end of another long, hot day. Guests watched on as a male leopard was seen dining on an impala up a tree, gorging himself on his recent kill before the hyenas could catch the scent.
The buffalo seem to have found themselves the perfect hiding spot – kept secret from both seeking eyes as well as roaming predators. The seasonal rains have filled the nearby pools with fresh, sweet water and given the buffalo a perfect source close to their favourite foliage – and it seems, also their best form of camouflage – the Mopane Woodlands. They have remained unsighted this month, carefully resting amongst the forest thickets.
However, along Macheka road at the hyena den, a curious cub has provided many a guest with a chance to witness its investigations of its surrounding area at night. One such evening, three porcupines were spotted, shortly followed by the cub on an evening excursion to seek out the owner of this new smell. A second cub has also been spotted!
Elephant breeding herds have also been prevalent in the area and some truly remarkable antelope were also seen – the Sable antelope and the shy Sitatunga have both been spotted along with Kudu, Roan and Eland, to name a few. Migratory birds have yet to start their long journey to faraway lands and the carmine bee eater, broad billed rollers and wahlbergs eagle have still be seen taking to the skies, whilst mongooses of all species – both banded and dwarf - have been seen frequently frolicking amongst the ant hills and termite mounds. A black mamba was even sighted crossing the road near Johns Pan.
offers our guests much to see – across its wide open plains and vast landscape, there are many animals which roam this pristine earth. The predators in the area have graced us with many sightings of their daily interactions, at rest and at play as well as seen mating.
Cheetah seem to have found this area much to their liking in recent months as they have been spotted on many an occasion – most often seen sleeping or relaxing by nearby pans or in a prime spot along West Road and Baobab Loop. One cheetah was even sighted in the Camp!
A rare treat for visitors and staff alike!
Other cats which have been spotted have been the lions. A much-loved favourite for all to see, this particular group – consisting of three adults and three younger ones – were interrupted whilst at play! These rambunctious activities soon ended as the heat got the better of them and they sought out something to quench their thirst and finally, a shady resting spot where they could hide from the desert sun. The lions all seem to be in a playful mood this month as one of the females from the Nxai Pan
Pride was also seen ‘fake fighting with a male from another territory.
As always, the general game has been good – giraffes, kudu, impala and gemsbok have all been seen wondering the various feeding grounds enjoying the excellent grazing which is characteristic of this time of the year and zebras can still be seen gallivanting across open fields whilst springboks prance majestically across the plains. Our large, ponderous, grey friends – the elephant – still frequent the area and take much delight in the pans. Black-backed jackals and bat eared foxes have also been spotted along with spring hares – if one is lucky enough to see them as they disappear in to the nearby brush!
The Tau Pan
Pride continues to flourish in their desert home and have frequently been sighted drinking from the various waterholes in the area. In the intense Kalahari heat, they are most often found languishing under the scarce shade of an unforgiving landscape, though guests are sometimes treated to their territorial patrols and daily hunting activities. Whilst the leopard has remained elusive this month, the cheetah has been proud to show off her cubs to our visitors whilst she has been hunting. Other smaller predators have been seen foraging in the pans, including the bat-eared fox, the cape fox and the black-backed jackal.
This region has such a special variety of creatures that blend in so well with their surroundings. From the smallest of creatures - the ground squirrel that is frequently seen hopping along the ground, fervently scratching out some delectable morsel from the sand and the leopard tortoise with its amazing kaleidoscope of camouflage that gives it its name – to the smaller of the antelopes – the springbok with their numerous new young who are quickly learning to navigate the rocky earth beneath their tiny hooves – and the largest being the gemsbok, who gracefully gazes at the vibrant activity around him.
Of special note is the abundant birdlife which has been seen on every game drive. Flocks of Sand Grouse rise at the nearby rumble of the vehicle as it passes them by. A brave Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk also delighted viewers by attempting to tackle a larger bird, a guinea fowl with young – the poor goshawk was worse for wear after the protective guinea fowl kicked it to the ground, leaving it with far more pains and fewer feathers than it started the day with! Others proved just as unsuccessful when battling the ground squirrel which adamantly stood their ground upon intrusion by the goshawk in to its feeding territory. The Peregrine Falcon has displayed its successful hunting tactics on many occasions, along with spectacular sightings of the Red Billed Queleas, the Ring Dove, the Bateleur Eagle and princely Kori Bustard, amongst others.