Machaba Camp Wildlife Stories July 2023
Spring has arrived and as the sun starts to rise earlier, the days are becoming warmer. After a long dry winter, the wildlife is concentrating on the Khwai River banks, where there is lush grass and drinking water making for excellent wildlife sightings.
So often in the bush, we see the birds aiding prey species as they give away the presence of a stealthy predator,
This red lechwe had no such luck. As the grey lourie, or a ‘Go-Away’ bird, as we like to call them, called the alarm, the young antelope chose flight. Raising its head in anticipation of danger, it flicked its tail and ran straight towards a pride of lions that had been the bird’s cause for alarm.
A Serval Surprise
In the early hours of the day, the sound of panicked guinea fowls could be heard from the nearby bushes around the camp.
Suddenly, a serval appeared, stealthily pursuing the guinea fowls. Despite its efforts, the birds managed to escape. Nonchalantly strolling onto the road, the serval leisurely licked its paw prints as it settled down.
The ‘Cow Horn’ Formation
Watching wild dogs hunt is a fascinating experience. One morning on safari, guides and guests were delighted to see a pack of wild dogs in the ‘Cow Horn’ formation to bring down a baby kudu.
Made famous by the fearless leader, Shaka Zulu, the ‘Cow Horn’ formation was used in battle an age ago. We can’t help but wonder, had the renowned leader observed wild dogs utilising this attack method and adopted the ingenious set-up?
The rules are different in the wild and there is no such thing as ‘sharing is caring’. A leopard can lift up to 100 kg of weight into a tree to keep the prey away from scavenging thieves.
Following the sound of wild dogs, we found them bucking up a tree. As we got closer, we saw that a leopard and her cub had dragged an impala carcass up to the safety of the tree’s branches. After a few minutes, the wild dogs seemed to get the message that sharing wasn’t an option and they moved off in search of their next meal.
Talking about not sharing, we came across two lions on the banks of the Khwai River. As we slowly advanced, the lioness growled and dragged the remains of a reedbuck deeper into the bush. Reluctant following, the male lion went after her.
Within moments, more growling was heard followed by a hyena bolting out of the bush from the direction the lions had gone. Chased by the male lion, the lone hyena was no match for the pair.
With the hippos out of the water and elephants crossing the waterways, the wildlife sightings at Machaba Camp were extraordinary this month. So many wonderful memories made we cannot wait to see what next month brings.
Until next time,