Wildlife Sightings September 2020
Average Temperature: 35˚C
Rainfall: a few light drizzles
Cloud cover drifting through from the east to the west sometimes brought a light drizzle and breeze to us at Deteema Springs in the Hwange National Park.
Coming across lion spoors on the road during a morning drive necessitated tracking and speculating the area where they could be. In no time at all the safari vehicles engine roared off in the direction of the spoors and a voice came from the back shouting, “Lions! Lions! Stop!”
Before us was part of the Dolilo pride which consisted of four lionesses, one male and six cubs. The younger set of cubs were about three months old and too cute for words as we watched them growling and snaring at each other over suckling positions.
Back at Deteema camp, the resident pride’s roars had been heard almost every day. One morning a dead elephant cow drew vultures and it was fascinating to see the lionesses’ sharing duties to guard the carcass. The dynamics of the dry season makes sightings like these very common.
Setting out on an afternoon game drive with the hope of finding the afore-mentioned cat, turned out to be vice-versa as the cat came right up to camp a few hours after departure.
Our sundowner in the bush came abruptly to an end when staff called us and told us to hotfoot it back to camp because we had a visitor. A herd of impalas had no idea he was there but had the advantage of the openness of the area. Cheetahs are cursorial hunters that need to get within 20m or less or their prey before bursting.
We sat there quietly pondering about what his plan of action would be. Our cat crouched low, moving back to the tree-line, presumably to hide and let a chance present itself.
Buffalo and Elephant
Large herds of male buffalo also congregated near camp this month and seemed to take pleasure in challenging the elephants. Both these animal species are huge, so it is something really special to see. At Deteema we call it “The Clash of the Titans”.
A huge flock of guinea fowl landed in camp to start their foraging activities on the elephant dung which they probe for undigested seeds. Such activity cannot go unnoticed.
An African hawk-eagle, their avian enemy, watched from the safety of high-up branches then made a calculative swoop down to provide breakfast for its mate and chick waiting somewhere in the leafy canopy of a nearby tree.
The baboons barked loudly to herald their readiness to join in on the excitement. The atmosphere was filled with astonishing sounds stirring the heart of Africa.
Our elephants celebrated the arrival of spring with us and spent quite a bit of time around camp. We got some great footage of them going about their daily business.
Until next month,