Leopards were the highlight of my last safari which fits in quite well because July was leopard month at Letaka Safaris. I knew I was under pressure because Nkosi has had some brilliant leopard sightings but I think ours were better, sorry Nkosi…
We were fortunate to catch up with the Mochaba female (Mosadi wa mochaba) feeding on an impala carcass near the old Mochaba camp. What was quite strange was that she was denning in a termite mound and on one of our night-drives we got to see her go into her den and emerge with a young cub. What made this even better was having the sighting all to ourselves!
We also had an excellent sighting of a very large male leopard up a Camelthorn tree in Savuti. This particular leopard was watching a pride of lion feed on an elephant carcass and was still there when we visited the carcass the next day. I know this male very well and he is normally quite shy but hangs around between Twin Hills, Kudu Hill and Bushman Hill. We also saw a female leopard just a few kilometres away at Leopard Rock, I have not seen this individual before and think she might have come in from the Linyanti area.
Another fantastic sighting on our safari was two cheetah brothers crossing the water in the Bodumatau region of Moremi Game Reserve.
Lions were seen near Xini Lagoon in Moremi Game Reserve, the Xini pride consists of 3 adult females, 3 cubs and 4 males – they are a very relaxed pride and normally allow us to approach close enough to not use our zoom functions. We also managed to catch up with the Savuti Marsh pride which is mae up of 4 males, one female and her cubs
Moremi was also jam-packed with elephants, every corner we went around seemed to bring more and more elephants. I don’t think I have ever seen so many elephants in Moremi on one safari. Normally we see a reasonable number of elephants in Moremi but wait for the Savuti and Chobe segment of our safari to really start seeing elephants. On this occasion we had seen almost a thousand elephant by the time we left Moremi. One of the great things about mobile tented safaris is that you get to see the changing animal densities as you move overland from one area to another.
We didn’t see anything madly out of the ordinary on this trip but we did have some very good views of Pale Flycatchers and the gorgeous Green-winged Pytilia which my guests really enjoyed. The Green-winged Pytilia is more often found in acacia thornveld and I thought it quite unusual to see him in the teak woodlands of the Chobe Forest Reserve. We are all looking forward to the arrival of the migratory species which will start drifting down in late September and will get into full swing in November.
Well the water has peaked pretty much everywhere and is dropping in most places. The Bodumatau region of Moremi Game Reserve was the only area where we saw any evidence of rising waters. The Khwai river on the northern boundary of Moremi Game Reserve is dropping steadily and never reached last year’s peak. In Savuti the marsh still has a reasonable amount of water and this will probably last until the rains set in but it is significantly drier than last year. The Chobe River in the northern Chobe National Park is also much lower than last year and all the river roads are now accessible, we didn’t visit Victoria Falls on this safari but fellow guides report that the Zambezi is also much lower than last year.
– 😉 Gabatsholwe Disho (July 2012)