The month of August has been an incredibly exciting one, our guiding team and guests have been exposed to some special sightings and animal behaviour!
The leopards of Ngoma have been particularly active over the last month, not only in the heart of the National Park but also in and around camp. A mating pair of leopards were viewed around camp a few days in a row, before moving off into the middle of the Chobe forest reserve where there was a little more privacy.
Lions also seem to have been high on the list of most seen on drives and boat cruises in August. A young pride of lions, who we assume to be newly formed due to a breakaway from their birth pride for competition reasons, have provided for some amazing viewing this month.
All seven of them are around three years of age, the pride consists of five young lionesses and two young male lions. Hunting is not a problem for these young predators. Some of our guests have seen them feeding and fighting over a few different buffalo carcasses and even an elephant carcass. The elephant was hunted and killed by these young lions and lionesses, something that was most definitely not done with ease!
It was most certainly not common practice for lions in this area to be hunting elephants in the past, it is however fast becoming a tradition within certain prides.
With the lions being so active and making several kills close by, it has drawn a lot of hyena activity to the surrounding area. It is fascinating to watch the pecking order between lions and hyenas, lions and lionesses and even between and within the clans of hyenas.
One young hyena that happened to be part of a clan that was feeding on a buffalo carcass took an interest in our guide, Tebby and his guests. Whilst Tebby was filming the activity, this young hyena decided to lift itself up onto its back legs to get a closer look at Tebby and his guests. It caught both guide and guests by surprise, as it snuck up and appeared from nowhere.
Typically, hyenas will keep to themselves and are not at all interested in vehicles and humans, adolescence can, however, prove to get the better of some.
Our resident pack of wild dogs and the seven pups that they had last winter are doing incredibly well! The pups have become rather relaxed around our campgrounds and with our safari vehicles too. Their hunting antics provided for some amazing viewing and understanding of wild dog behaviour, sometimes more than once a day and even as much as a few times a week. The pups, now sub-adults are also starting to get involved in the hunts, always a pleasure to watch as this is a massive time of learning and time for teamwork development skills! The middle of the day is always the time of day for a most well-earned siesta, of course.
A rather massive herd of buffalo also seem to have made themselves comfortable between the Chobe National Park entrance and Ngoma Safari Lodge. The herd is estimated to be standing at 2500 strong. The waterhole in front of the lodge has been a massive drawcard for the buffalo, they have returned every second or third afternoon, like clockwork. The lodge bar and decks at all different levels at Ngoma Safari Lodge make for a beautiful spot to watch the sunset over the Chobe flood plain, especially when it is littered with buffalo.
We have had several safari enthusiasts, of all different ages, visit us here at Ngoma Safari Lodge over the months of July and August. It is also a month that sees many kids in many different countries on their school holidays. Some are lucky enough to come out here, to the wilds of Africa to explore and learn more about nature and the wonderful home that it provides for an abundance of wildlife.
Until next time…
Ngoma Safari Lodge Team