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Kwando Safaris Wildlife Sightings February 2012

Friday, 6 April 2012 09:24 by BillGiven

Welcome to this month's installment of the Kwando Safaris Sightings. Today, we'll be providing the wildlife sighting for March for Kwando Lebala Camp and Kwando Lagoon Camp. Tomorrow we cover Nxai Pan Camp, Tau Pan Camp, and Kwando Kwara Camp.

Kwando Lebala Camp

There have been numerous elephant sightings near and around Lebala Camp – as well as large breeding herds lumbering across the grassy plains. It is truly amazing how silently these mammoth animals move through the thickest brush to barely more than the swish-swish as they tromp in unison through the long grass! Lone bulls have been seen wondering in the more open landscapes as well as carefully manoeuvring their huge bodies through the tight confines of other woodland areas. This is unusual for this time of year as most bachelor and breeding herds have moved off in to the woodlands by now.

Guests had the good fortune to come across twenty wild dogs at a recent kill – an impala ram which was slowly being feasted upon by the family – nine pups and eleven adults. As is true of the African wild, the hyenas were soon alerted to this fresh kill by the scent in the air and quickly appeared ready to challenge the pack to their meal. Unfortunately, the hyenas proved the stronger group on this day and soon chased the dogs off and seized their prey. The coalition comprising of the three cheetah brothers has also been sighted sporadically throughout the concession but have seemed to move on quickly from each location.

General game has been excellent – the elegant giraffe have been seen feeding on acacia and russet bush willow trees, mindfully surveying their surroundings from their lofty height. Reedbuck and Lechwe have been spotted in the wetter areas with the tiny, graceful steenbok seen occasionally for just long enough to take in its delicate features before it flees in fright to the safety of the thick bush! Birding has also been enjoyable with ostriches, ducks and geese as well as some sightings of the wattled-crane along with other small water birds.

Kwando Lagoon Camp

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 sighting. 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 John’s Pan.

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