Wildlife Sighting November 2020
November arrived and brought our first rain of the season as well as countless impala births. Impalas like to wait for the first rains and then seem to drop their little ones all at once - safety in numbers!
Gestation lasts six to seven months and the female will isolate herself from the herd when her labour pain begins. A single calf is born and is immediately concealed in cover for the first few weeks after its birth. The fawn then joins a nursery group within its mother's herd. The calves are suckled for four to six months.
Giraffes, Lions and Buffalo
On the afternoon game drive, a fresh giraffe carcass was found near the river. The elderly giraffe seemed to have died of natural causes due to its advanced age. Vultures began swooping in and started opening the carcass.
Two lionesses with their two cubs jumped the river to check the carcass out and surprisingly they did not feed on the giraffe immediately. As they were contemplating whether or not to start feasting on the carcass, a herd of buffalo approached. Then a third lioness appeared from the thickets and took down a buffalo youngster which she dined on alone.
The next day the lionesses with the cubs were found feasting on a tsessebe antelope next to the giraffe. The hyenas that night walked into the scene later overpowered the lions. There were about 16-20 very excited hyenas sniffing the giraffe carcass but they didn’t care for it much and fought over the remains of the tsessebe carcass instead.
The lionesses took their cubs to safety and disappeared. The hyenas laughed and giggled and polished-off the tsessebe carcass before vanishing into the darkness of the night. The giraffe slowly rotted away, eventually, even the vultures lost interest. Some crocodiles did appear out of the water and snacked on a few chunks of meat.
Two cheetah brothers were spotted and observed as they made their way through the bush. They even climbed overhanging fallen logs to get a better viewing advantage.
Wild dogs and yellow-billed kite
Our resident pack of three wild dogs ran past the camp. Guests jumped into the safari vehicle and followed in hot pursuit. The dogs ran along the river’s edge chasing here and there and finally took down an impala. They devoured the impala in a matter of minutes and were joined by yellow-billed kites that kept swooping down to pick off morsels of meat.
We were watching elephants at the river’s edge when all of a sudden a herd of 18 sable antelope came to drink. This is a very rare and special sighting for those of us who saw it.
Lions on Kudu Kill
The first thing we spotted were three tiny heads poking over the short grass. On closer inspection, it turned out a trio of tiny lion cubs were watching the vehicle drive past. Mommy had brought them to the water’s edge to quench their thirst.
She then led them back to a fresh kudu kill made earlier that morning. On the kill, we encountered an additional two lionesses and two older cubs. The tiny cubs were less than a month old and they were still a bit wobbly on their feet.
Mommy kept trying to guide them in the right direction, helping them along by gently picking up one at a time and carrying it.