I have been extremely fortunate on my last few safaris and this one was no different with some excellent game viewing and great photographic opportunities. A male lion in Moremi Game Reserve managed to single-pawedly pull down a buffalo between Third Bridge and Fourth Bridge. We also saw a coalition of four male lions on an elephant kill in Savuti which reminded me of the days when the Pump Pan pride used to regularly hunt elephants in Savuti. I haven’t seen this happen on a regular basis for many years but perhaps the lions are starting to target elephants again.
Leopards were back in the mix again with a female leopard seen near the Magothlo campsite not far from the Khwai river which forms the northern boundary of Moremi Game Reserve. Just when we thought the sighting couldn’t get better we saw her cub emerge from the bush to add the cherry on top.
We also had a great sighting of a young female leopard in Savuti near the old Pump Pan, we watched her unsuccessfully stalk flocks of guineafowl and francolin.
The Savuti marsh has got plenty of water which is attracting a number of herbivores including large herds of buffalo, the herd we saw was over 500 strong. Water seems to be rising on the Savuti Marsh although the levels are lower than last year we will definitely have enough water on the marsh to last until the next rainy season.
For the first time in six weeks the wild dogs eluded us on this safari and all we saw of them was fresh tracks of a few adults around the old Campsite 24 in Savuti.
Water did cause us some challenges on this safari with the bridge at 3rd Bridge in Moremi Game Reserve broken which meant that we could not access the wild dog pack which we knew was denning just a few kilometres on the other side of the bridge. Hopefully our Department of Wildlife will get their act together and fix the bridge so that safaris can operate as normal.
We did very well on the cats overall on this safari with an impressive scoresheet of 4 leopards (and a cub), 28 lions, 3 servals and an African wild-cat. Some of the sightings were fleeting but generally we were afforded a pretty good look at all the animals on our safari which allowed all of my guests to capture some pretty amazing images which we will hopefully sharing with you soon.
In the northern part of Chobe National Park the Chobe River is dropping very quickly and the Watercart Loop road is now accessible again which means that we now have a lot more options for our game drives through the park.
That’s all for now, you can find regular updates about Letaka Safaris on our Facebook Page.
– Nkosi Sibanda (July 2012)