Kiri Camp Wildlife Sightings May 2024

May has had splendid weather for viewing wildlife at Kiri Camp. There has been little cloud cover and no rain, meaning guests had unimpeded views of the Okavango Delta’s biggest stars.

Daytime temperatures averaged around  30°C this month, with mornings and evenings being noticeably cooler, an interesting trend we’ve noticed since last month. But as we eagerly wait for the floodwater to arrive, our guests, together with us, can enjoy the setting sun underneath electric blankets.

Kiri Camp Dinner under the stars

Dinner and a Show

As our guests indulged in a post-safari dinner, an incredible scene of 19 frenzied African wild dogs in a vicious clash with nine hyenas got the attention of everyone at Kiri Camp. The wild dogs sprinted in front of camp to their targets and bared their teeth, which the hyenas also did in turn.

As the fighting started only 100m from camp, our rangers quickly gathered the guests, topped off their drinks, escorted them into our safari vehicles and followed the ferocious sights and sounds forever etched into our memories! The one-in-a-lift-time night safari lasted until 9 pm to the delight of guests and staff.

In Rare Form

It's funny how a simple question led to one of this year’s most exciting and rare sightings! During one of our sunset drives hosted by guides Mike and Tops on the dry Boro riverbed, a guest asked if Botswana has armadillos.

Mike and Tops nearly jumped out of their seats, realising that what the guest was pointing to in the dry grass was a rare pangolin! And true to its rare and illusive nature, the pangolin quickly scurried off. But not before our guests managed to snap a few pictures of it. The last time we spotted a pangolin was in December 2022. That little fact was the icing on the cake as everyone reminisced around the campfire that evening.

Pangolin spotted at Machaba Safaris

Mommy’s Home

In the golden afternoon rays of the African sun, two familiar lionesses were basking on top of a termite mound when they suddenly caught a whiff of something delicious in the air. The lionesses then stood up to investigate and started walking through the long grass to track down the alluring aroma.

The smell led them to another termite mound, which they casually circled until a family of warthogs darted out. A brief but intense pursuit followed. Concluding with one of the lionesses catching but curiously not eating a teenage warthog. The lioness carried the carcass for approximately a kilometre, crossing roads and veld until she neared a third termite mound.

Out of the long grass, our guides noticed 8 small cubs excited to see their mother return and pouncing all over her. The mother laid the warthog down, and the cubs could not contain their joy. The little ones growled, mewed and purred at the sight of their next meal. And what’s even more interesting is that throughout this sighting, neither lioness nor cub batted an eye at our guides or their vehicle.

Lioness spotted with her Warthog kill

Chasing Cheetahs

During one of our guests’ early morning breakfasts on the Kiri camp deck, we spotted a coalition of five cheetahs running across the plains to a nearby watering hole. Our guides and guests quickly transitioned from relaxed to excited and jumped into our safari vehicles to follow the happy-go-lucky group. Once we caught up with them at the watering hole, the cheetahs chased each other to a nearby termite mound. They climbed up and down the mound, frolicked amongst the grass and fought playfully, much to the delight of the nearby guides and guests. Seeing animals play like this is one of the most enthralling and rare sights out there.

Hunt Inside Camp

Guests rarely get this close to an active hunt! While preparing for a late afternoon game drive, a frightened Impala ran at full speed down the Kiri Camp pathway leading to room 10.  Guests jumped to the sides of the path to avoid the impala only to see a pack of eight African wild dogs behind it. The pack was singularly focused on their prey, so the guests were in no danger or even scared. But the adrenaline they felt in the moment was something you can only get by being that close to predators in action.

Eventually, the wild dogs brought down the impala outside the lodge’s turning circle.  Shortly after their meal, the dogs scattered, and the guests went on their planned game drives. The dogs later returned to the scene of their kill, where they were spotted running up and down the pathway throughout the night.

Until next time,
Kiri camp