Wildlife Sightings Report July 2021
No matter how cloudy or cold it got, Ingwe Pan Camp was kept blazing hot by some of the most exciting, adrenaline-pumping and rare sightings we’ve seen all year!
From lions facing off against tank-like buffalo to honey badgers looking for some quick grub, July was an amazing month in the Zimbabwean wilderness!
The One That Didnâ€™t Get Away
Game drives are one of our favourite activities to do in Zimbabwe, and during one of our full-day drives, we came across something amazing! We started the day wandering the floodplains, but to our surprise, we didn’t see any of the incredible creatures we normally see.
Feeling a bit disheartened, we decided to take a little break and had a delicious picnic on the banks of the Zambezi river. However, on our way back we came across a pride of lions in the middle of an ambush! We first saw a young male looking in the direction of three females who set up the ambush for an unwitting warthog.
The lionesses set their plan in motion and channelled the warthog straight towards the young male, unfortunately, his inexperience led him to pounce at the wrong time, letting the warthog slip past him. Knowing her way around a hunt, one of the older lionesses gave chase, eventually catching and killing the warthog in some nearby hippo grass.
We were so lucky to see this, it's very rare to see a successful hunt play out from start to finish!
Donâ€™t Be Stingy!
An impala kill got a few hyenas into a little bit of a tizzy. We first spotted one of them dragging the carcass across the road that links camp and the sapi road. It was then followed by a few more hyenas who tried to grab their share of the kill.
But it seemed like the one dragging the carcass was not having any of that! He ran away with everyone’s meal while the others gave chase. Once we lost sight of them in the Mopane Woods, we heard the echoing sounds of multiple feasting. All’s well that ends well!
A Fight For A life
Zimbabwe never disappoints when it comes to wildlife sightings! On one particular game drive, we bumped into another Ingwe Pan group who told us they saw a pride of lions earlier in the direction of the Mana Drive road.
Not ones to miss out on any lion spotting opportunities, we quickly said our thanks and headed straight there, and before we knew it, we saw the tell-tale signs of fleeing prey. There was a huge dust cloud bellowing from a distant treeline.
We initially thought the lions were chasing a herd of zebras, only to discover they were targeting more formidable prey, a herd of 20 buffalo! The herd ran practically straight for us until the lead lioness managed to bring down one of these horned tanks. Within seconds a second lioness pounced on the grounded prey and secured a tight grip around its throat!
Terrified and injured, the captured buffalo called out to its herd for help. The herd turned around and charged straight for the lionesses. As hungry as they might have been, the lions knew that taking a hit from any one of the incoming buffalo could be fatal, so they opted to let this kill go and stay safe.
The buffalo was saved, but what came after was really odd. It seemed like the injured buffalo was being shunned. Possibly because its blood would alert other predators to the herd’s location.
Digging For Grub
Not all the creatures we spot have to be big and strong to get our attention. One day we saw a pair of honey badgers (definitely a couple) digging in the sand in search of dung beetles’ balls. To be more specific, they were looking for the larvae inside the balls.
To honey badgers, these grubs are a sought after delicacy, and thanks to their great sense of smell and hearing they can pick up the movements of the larvae inside the dung balls even if they are buried deep in the ground. The couple used their powerful claws to unearth their meal and happily bounced away with that comical walk all honey badgers have.
One morning we left camp and headed straight to a den that belonged to a family of African wild dogs. We drove up to a certain point and decided it would be easier to continue the rest of the way on foot. After walking approximately one kilometre into the Mopane Woodlands, we found ourselves in a small sandy stream and continued upwards.
We eventually spotted our happy family around one of the stream’s many curves. We saw three adults and six pups just lounging about in the sun and after some time, the three adults went out hunting and left us to watch over their kids. For about an hour we just watched the cuties have fun and relax without the adults’ supervision.
Spot You Next Time
July was filled with amazing wildlife viewing opportunities, we couldn’t believe how many rare sightings we got to see. With our blood still pumping from all the lions, buffalo, wild dogs and honey badgers, we can’t wait to see what August has up its sleeve!
See you this time next month,