A pleasant drive

It was a beautiful afternoon and evening on safari and we stopped at one of my favourite big dams to look at some of the very unique animals that usually gather around this watering area.

As we arrived at the dam we were greeted by a herd of old buffalo bulls also known as “dugga boys”.

“Dugga” is a term used when cement and sand are mixed together with water, this then resembles the dried mud you often see on the bodies of buffalo’s as they usually lie in mud – called wallowing.

Behind the buffalo we found a family of about five hippos just relaxing in the water, probably after a long night of walking around and grazing.

Impala, Giraffe and some zebra’s all came down to the watering hole for a bit of a drink as well.

A very beautiful pleasant evening!

Wayne – Kapama River Lodge

Worth the wait

Spotted hyenas are a rare occurrence in Kapama. They are extremely shy animals and if they are sighted, it is usually a quick run across the road. My guests had been with us for two nights already and had been extremely lucky – they had seen the whole Big Five, as well as cheetahs and hippos playing with each other. However, they kept asking about the hyena so I told them it is extremely rare to see them but we will nevertheless try.

So we set out on our afternoon game drive in an area where most of the hyena sightings are. The first bit of the drive was extremely quiet as we only saw some plains game – impala, zebra, giraffe, wildebeest, etc. As the sun started setting we decided to stop for some drinks. So I went to a nearby dam with a nice view of the sunset.

After about half an hour, we only had an hour left of our game drive. So my tracker and I decided to check an old hyena den (maybe we would get lucky). As we moved into the den sight, there they were – two hyena pups, about six months old, playing with each other in the open. Struck by their curiosity, they looked at the vehicle and started approaching.

I was so surprised at how brave these pups were without their mother around. But they approached nevertheless. After having an amazing encounter with these hyena pups coming up to the vehicle, they had satisfied their sense of curiosity and moved off. They stopped in the open in front of the vehicle and started playing.

This was definitely worth the wait and worth the quietness of the beginning of the drive. To top off the night, we saw a spotted eagle owl catch and eat a snake. This was one of the top experiences that I have had here at Kapama as a guide.

Kim (KC) – Kapama River Lodge

The chase

On one of my game drives with my guests, I had responded to a sighting of a pride of lions. Unfortunately, when I arrived they had lost visual. Determined to show my guests these lions, I stayed in the area to try and relocate.

As I was driving in the bush, I saw some movement in front of us. I thought it was the lions but to my surprise it was a herd of zebra and wildebeest busy grazing, unaware of the presence of the lions. As soon as they realized that there was danger in the area they ran in different directions.

Unfortunately for one male wildebeest, he ran in the wrong direction – straight towards the male lion. It was the end of his journey in the wild. The male lion jumped straight onto the wildebeest’s neck trying to pull him down and suffocate him. The two female lionesses soon joined in and helped the male bring down their meal.

My guests were so excited and surprised at what they had just seen. It was a rare sighting that I am sure they will remember.

Harry – Kapama River Lodge

Pouring rain

The rain decided to bucket down onto the thirsty African soils this afternoon. I had a handful of brave guests and we braved the cold weather and slippery roads to see what we could find.

As expected in this weather, the drive started of quietly, until a couple of rocks turned out to be rhinos. We moved closer towards them and they couldn’t be less fazed by our presence. Both resting quietly as only their ears moved with the sounds around them.

Afterwards, we came across a lioness moving across the road behind us. She moved quickly through the bush so we lost her very quickly. In the process of trying to find her again, she came out of the bush and walked down the road closely followed by her two cubs. With that she led us directly to a fresh kill that was no further than 20 metres from the road, lay down and allowed the cubs to have their fill.

Since we already had a couple of great sightings at that point, we decided to head back, and were very happy we braved the weather and made it successful.

Jacques Beukes – Kapama River Lodge
12 Oct 2012

Lonely lion

It was a beautiful afternoon for a game drive a few days ago. We have been very fortunate to see good game, all the while looking for the male lion of the pride. We knew he has been away from the pride for a few days marking his territory.

As the sun set over the African horizon, we stopped for something to drink. Just when everything was set up and everybody had drinks in hand, we heard the faint sound of a lion roaring. We packed up as quickly as we could and started south in the direction of the sound.

As we drove onto the dam wall of one of the dams, we numerously passed in our search of him. He was right there in our way lying on the dam wall. He didn’t seem to care about our presence as he again started to roar in our direction. The pure ferocity of the sound seemed to rip through our chests as we could only sit there in awe at the sight and sound of the scene playing out in front of us.

It was truly a breath taking experience! One I would gladly participate in again and never grow tired of. What an amazing place Africa is to live in…

Jacques Beukes – Kapama River Lodge