Deteema Springs Wildlife Stories September 2023

As soon as the sun peeks over the eastern horizon, the air starts to fill with the promise of a day filled with adventure at Deteema Springs. The once lush landscapes are carpeted with mopane leaves and the trees start to turn to their iconic skeletal forms and unforgettable wildlife sightings punctuate the start of spring. 

Machaba Deteema Springs Wildlife Sighting Vultures


Devastatingly underrated, vultures often act as beacons for brilliant wildlife sightings in the wild African bush.

Finding lion spoor in camp, we kept our fingers crossed as we headed out for the morning game drive. As we reached the big dam, our search was seemingly futile, until David, one of our professional guides, pointed out vultures sitting in a tall tree nearby.

Driving up to the tree, a guest mentioned that she had noticed some movement under a bush. Slowly edging closer and closer, we saw a pride of lions feeding on a buffalo kill. The first-time safari goer was overjoyed that she had seen the lions first. 

Machaba Deteema Springs Wildlife Sighting Buffalo Kill Lions Feast

A Chance Encounter

After hearing about the fossilised prints on rocks within the petrified forest, our guests were keen to see it with their own eyes. Leaving camp for an early morning walk from camp, we headed straight for the petrified forest.

As we climbed down the hill and into the vlei, we came across a buffalo carcass that must have been about a week old. With evidence suggesting that predators were still visiting the kill, we moved off swiftly.

We continued to walk in the direction of the forest but were cut off by a breeding herd of elephants. Sitting downwind of the herd was to our advantage as they didn’t take notice of us. With the elephant calves safely in the middle of the herd, they continued on their way.

Machaba Deteema Springs Wildlife Sighting Elephant Herd

Unexpected Guests

Driving back to camp after a stunning sunset stop, we noticed three lion cubs playing outside tent 2. An exciting moment prompted a lot of questions from our guests, the main one being, ‘Where is their mother?’...

Machaba Deteema Springs Wildlife Sighting Lion Cubs Playing

A Young Coalition

Sometimes we don't pick the coffee spot, the coffee spot picks us!

The platform above a floodplain seemed like a great spot to enjoy our morning brew. Within moments, one of our expert guides, David, spotted two cheetahs scanning the plains and a herd of sable drinking from the river.

Machaba Deteema Springs Wildlife Sighting Sable

Upon further investigation, we spotted another three cheetahs. A coalition like this is usually made up of sub-adult males and sometimes females who will stick together until they learn self-sufficiency. After a few minutes, one of the cheetahs took chase and with little experience, startled the sable proving an unsuccessful hunt but a great sighting!

Machaba Deteema Springs Wildlife Sighting Cheetahs

This month marked the introduction of three cubs in our resident pride. We suspect they have just reached four months as the pride is slightly more relaxed with them being out and about. We cannot wait to see the little ones grow strong over the next couple months and years. 

Until next time,
Deteema Springs