Machaba Wildlife Stories October 2023
The heat of October was accompanied by small drizzles of merciful rain. The cooler temperatures in the evening have been wonderful to gather around the campfire and retell our stories of the day in the wild African bush.
We witnessed the ferocity of four lions when we witnessed an exhilarating hunt for a buffalo on White Bridge. Within a blink of an eye, the lions had taken down the beast and caught their breakfast.
The next day, we returned to the scene of the kill to find a cackle of hyenas attempting to swindle the kings out of their well-deserved meal. The battle was won by the four lions as the hyenas retreated to the thicket with their tails between their legs.
Protect the Food at All Costs
During a morning game drive, we stopped at Onks Crossing when we heard the calls of a pack of wild dogs. Running in their iconic horse-shoe formation, we kept our eyes peeled to get a glimpse of what they were chasing. Within seconds a leopard appeared. Seemingly running away from the wild dogs, the story quickly emerged.
The wild dogs were chasing the leopard away from a waterbuck they had recently taken down. Leopards and wild dogs are frequently seen in the same vicinity, but to watch them chasing a leopard was a first for our guests.
On the way back from an afternoon game drive, dark clouds emerged with the promise of rain. With camp in our sights, we spotted two leopards stalking a herd of unsuspecting impala. Normal solitary hunters, we were awe-struck watching the two powerful leopards as they raced towards the herd.
In a matter of minutes, the leopards had made a kill and were dragging their dinner under the cover of some nearby bushes and we made our way back to camp to enjoy a dinner of our own with wonderful stories to recount around the campfire.
A Scavenger's Soirée
Looking to the skies, vultures can often help us find unforgettable wildlife sightings in the bush. So when we were alerted to 26 hovering vultures, we immediately made our way towards them.
As we approached the scene, a cackle of hyena emerged from the bushes alongside the vehicles and continued in the direction we were headed in and we knew we were on the right trail. One opportunistic hyena reached the kill first and quickly grabbed a bite before retreating to the safety of a bush to enjoy its spoils. As the hyena turned, a vulture swooped down and snatched the piece of meat right out of the hyena’s mouth.
Howling and squealing, the hyena’s distress calls attracted more scavengers and soon the ensemble grew with two side-striped jackals also looking for a quick bite to eat.
The speechless guests returned to camp after a truly wild encounter, a reminder of the unpredictability of the African bush. With memories to last lifetimes, we cannot imagine what next month will bring…
Until next time,
Mana River Camp