Verney's Camp Wildlife Stories June 2022
Midwinter in the African bushveld holds a wealth of opportunities for unforgettable wildlife sightings. As the waterholes dry up, animals congregate in their masses and make for some interesting interactions. Verney’s Camp is the perfect destination to experience a safari at this time.
The Immature Lion
It is always exciting when a new pride of lions moves into our concession and we have been getting to know a new pride this month as they have been visiting the waterhole in front of camp every few days. Among the new pride is a curious young male lion that is maturing into adulthood. The immature adult, still refining his control, stalked our open-air vehicle on one of our game drives and gave our guests an experience they will not soon forget! This behaviour is common in young males discovering their power.
Two Dads Are Better Than One
When two males in a coalition are found to be co-parenting, it is unbelievably rare. When a male lion takes over a new pride, he will most likely kill the cubs that are present. This is to ensure no energy is wasted raising cubs that are not going to pass on the new lion’s genetics. Infanticide in lions is exceptionally common and unfortunately, it is a harsh reality in the bush.
The lion pride at Verney’s Camp is doing well and their cubs are growing up to be strong and healthy. We are so lucky to witness their journey as it is so rare to see two males in a coalition co-parenting.
Daily Rendezvous with Elephants
Each evening, as the sun makes its curtain call, one by one the elephants appear out of the thicket to drink from the remaining waterholes. A popular evening activity for our guests is to share a drink and bid the day farewell with these gentle giants.
Wild Dogs Take A Leisurely Stroll
Prey species often give away the presence of a predator. Whether it’s a bird’s alarm call or small antelope running for cover, we know to watch for what is coming next. So when a steenbok ran for cover near camp, we knew to expect something amazing. Approaching silently and stealthily, a pack of wild dogs minded their own business as they took a leisurely stroll past camp.
A Lonely Leopard
We often get to see our resident leopard around camp, however, he has been keeping an even lower profile than normal due to an increase in activity at the waterhole. Forcing him to change his behaviour, the leopard must now drink in the early hours of the morning. We have not seen him much, although his tracks are evident daily.
A month of exciting sightings and jaw-dropping moments! What will next month have in store?
Until next time,
Themba, Guide at Verney’s Camp