Machaba Camp Wildlife Sightings May 2024

During the first three weeks of May, we observed that the weather was similar to last month, with hot days and noticeably milder evenings. The fourth week had a cold front that swept across Botswana which surprised our guests who were expecting the dry African heat we usually get in the dry season.

This weather pattern has become somewhat of a norm in recent years. Nevertheless, elephants gather as early as 08:30 along the riverbanks, thanks to the dry grass and vegetation in the area.

The Start to the Perfect Adventure

As with almost all of our guests, the Lim family arrived full of excitement and anticipation for what they were about to experience with us at Machaba. After high tea, the family and our other guests set out for an adventure on the African plains. Not too long after they left, one of their guides spotted lion tracks on the riverfront while on their way to Makgatho.

One guest later spotted the silhouette of a lone vulture overhead. The group followed this majestic creature until it perched itself atop a leadwood tree.  As the trip continued, a black-backed jackal was spotted growling and running around a thick bush.

Then suddenly, a male lion appeared out of the thicket.  The lion made its presence known by letting out a fearsome roar! This was followed by three other lions letting their roars echo across the Okavango Delta.

Male lion appeared out the thicket

The four male lions proceeded to walk into the bushes, which led our guides to follow them at a safe distance until they came across six lionesses of six lionesses feeding on an elephant carcass. All the guests were thrilled to see such an incredible sight as they snapped pictures and took in the untamed beauty of Africa.

Never Give Up

One mild afternoon, our guide BT and a few guests decided to go leopard spotting. They looked everywhere, including spots where leopards were known to rest after a hefty meal. However, the majestic animal illuded them. After concluding that the day was not the one to see leopards, the safari group spotted a hyena sniffing and licking grasses near a large acacia tree. Surely the hyena had just finished eating, right?

Well, before they could get an answer to that question, they saw a male leopard in the tree, curling around a branch with a fresh impala kill hanging above it so that no other predator could steal its meal.

Leopard spotted in a tree

Finding the animal they were looking for, the safari group stayed there and stood in awe of how powerful, graceful, and even how similar to cats leopards can be.

A Story of Survival

In a rare moment on the Okavango Delta, a wounded impala managed to escape the jaw of not one but two predators out for blood! Having already been captured and being eaten alive by a wild dog, the impala made a break for it into a nearby river channel.

Wilddogs spotted in open field

Ever opportunistic, a crocodile also set its sights on the injured impala. Sensing its imminent capture, the impala changed courses and found itself on an island of grasses completely out of reach of both the wild dog and crocodile. The guests were awe-struck upon seeing this and later saw the impala’s pursuers scatter at the arrival of a herd of elephants. Unfortunately, the impala was so weak that when the wild dog returned, it did not have the strength to flee and was killed and eaten.

Overwhelming Numbers

As a group of our guests were on their way to Mokoro Station, an explosion of noise emanated from a nearby bush. To the surprise and delight of the guests, the scene that awaited them was one of hyenas fighting over an animal carcass.

The pack was frantically tearing flesh from the bone when a male lion appeared from the bushes, trying to claim their kill as his. However, the pack and its greater numbers overwhelmed the lion and sent him running off with its tail between its legs. This goes to show how being strongest in the savannah might not always be the best way to get what you want.

Hyena cub at Machaba Safaris

Until next time,
Machaba Camp