Verney’s Camp Wildlife Stories December 2023

The dry African plains impatiently await the summer rains. This month, the high temperatures call for cooler, refreshing beverages and many a siesta. 

Leaving early on our morning game drives to beat the heat, we witnessed some amazing wildlife sightings. 

Hunting Ground

The bone-dry Manga Pan has become a hunting ground for a pride of lions. The confusion brought on by the heat resulted in young elephants not being monitored closely enough. 

Taking advantage of this loss of concentration, the pride was successful in taking down a young elephant, but the high temperatures discouraged the lions from eating in the heat of the day. The vultures, on the other hand, have been using this to their advantage and nibbling on the lion’s untouched kill during the day. 

After a while, the strong male lion pulled the carcass to cover and away from the vulture’s grasp. 

A lion rests in the shade near Manga Pan, the lion's hunting round.

The Look of Determination

A cheetah, sitting near our vehicle, had a look of determination on her face. Keenly watching a herd of kudu graze in the plains below, the cheetah seemed not to be fazed by our presence at all so we settled in to watch her for a while. 

All of a sudden, the cheetah bolted from her perching place. Miscalculating the distance between her spot in the shade and the kudu in sight, the hunt was abandoned. 

A cheetah seen near Verney's Camp after a hunt.

Three Little Piglets

The sound of grunting arose from beneath the deck in the lounge area at Verney’s one day this month. The warthog that had been seen often in front of camp recently was nowhere to be seen. 

Having dug a burrow under the deck, the grunts were coming from the pregnant female who was giving birth! The next day, we were introduced to her three little piglets. It was an amazing experience for guests in camp and we will keep a close eye on her as her piglets grow. She will utilise the deck for safety as the piglets grow up. 

The Return

Herds of antelope and buffalo have been scarce in the area during the dry spell. Avoiding competition at waterholes, animals will travel far to find water sources. Recently, the roan antelope have started moving back into the area with calves and we have started to see large herds of buffalo returning. 

Patiently awaiting the rains, we are keeping cool with refreshing sundowners and long siestas. A very exciting month at Verney’s Camp, and we are looking forward to what next month has to bring. 

Until next time,
Verney’s Camp

Roan antelope have been seen moving back towards Verney's Camp with their calves.