Life lessons

On drive this afternoon, we decided that we wanted to follow up on our resident pride of lions that are known as the southern pride. We made our way to the area where they had last been seen and on our way to that area, we had a lot of wonderful sightings of plains game. We also bumped into a massive herd of buffalo in a dam, trying to cool off after a very hot summer’s day. Buffalo often go into the water in order to cool down and to wallow. Mud wallowing allows them to clean themselves from parasites and old skin that gets trapped inside the mud when it dries up.

After a great buffalo sighting we moved off, still with the ‘mission’ of finding the pride of thirteen lions. To our surprise, we found one of the adult females on her own – she was hunting. She was stalking a herd of zebra but unfortunately they had spotted her too early on and they moved away. The she locked her eyes on two warthogs. After a successful stalk, she made the kill, or so we thought. As we were watching, we noticed that the warthog was still alive, that she was not killing it. She started calling – she must have been calling her cubs. And then suddenly, the cubs came out of the bushes.

Big cats have a way of teaching their young how to handle live prey by catching something and not killing it immediately. Rather, they allow the cubs to play and learn to deal with their own prey. By doing this the cubs learn very important lessons in order to make them successful hunters.

It was amazing to be able to witness the life lessons given to these cubs.

FW – Kapama River Lodge

This afternoon

We left on this afternoon’s game drive a little earlier to start our search for animals. The first animals we saw were six warthogs eating and rolling around in the mud. It was quite entertaining and my guests took great photos.

As we carried on, we came across some impala, waterbuck and giraffe around a watering hole. My guests loved the experience so far even though they hadn’t seen any of the big five yet. Despite the extreme interest in the big five, most guests get more excited about giraffes than a leopard for example.

After the exciting giraffe sighting, we went just a little further and found three white rhinos peacefully feeding, not even noticing us. So after a relaxed sighting of the rhinos we decided to stop for a sundowner drink and watch the amazing African sunset.

Bryan – Kapama River Lodge

A different focus

It all started one afternoon at 16:30 – the time that everyone looks forward to where we go out into the bush and look for animals. It was my guests’ first drive here on Kapama and on the first drive, I like to keep the sightings focused on the general game – something they will see a lot of during their stay such as impala, kudu, giraffe, wildebeest, warthog, etc. The plan is to allow the guests to notice the smaller game and not just focus on the famous “Big five”. All creatures have got a role in nature and they all have their interesting aspects. So next time you visit Kapama, make sure to take note of and enjoy the general plains game of Africa.

Bryan – Kapama River Lodge

To learn and experience

Being on a safari is always an adventure that any person in the world would love to experience.

I like to see myself as a ranger, as a reader of the book of the bush, seeing as it is my job, not only to find and show guests the animals they want, but also to explain to them the reasons why animals do what, when they do it, how they do it and so much more.

I love every single moment of my job and I love to be able to show and teach people more about the bush. The things we get to see in our line of job are amazing and it is very rewarding to be able to see the animals in their natural habitat doing what they have been doing for millions of years.

So if you want to step into my office I will be more than willing to teach you as much as you want to learn.

Stefan de Weerd – Kapama River Lodge

An unfamiliar visitor

On some Game drive’s we tend to see leopards. This is not a frequent sighting because of this beautiful creature’s shy and elusive behavior, therefore, it is always a bonus and a pleasure to spot one. Every time I see a leopard is like seeing it for the first time and we were fortunate to see a young male leopard, approximately 3 years old, one late afternoon while on safari.

What is peculiar about him was his calm and relaxed nature which is quite abnormal for a leopard. This leopard walked up and down the road and even came as close to the safari vehicle where it sniffed the wheels and the trackers feet. He eventually moved off in the bush and I decided to follow him and after a few hundred metres I found him sitting on top of an old termite mound that was occupied by warthogs.

It only took a few minutes and the warthogs emerged from their burrow, completely unaware of the leopard’s presence then we heard a loud squealing sound and saw the mother warthog chase the leopard around the mound trying to save her baby. The leopard eventually decided to scale a nearby tree with the young warthog dangling from its jaws. When the mother was out of sight he came down and moved a safe distance away to enjoy the well -deserved kill. I certainly hope the unfamiliar visitor will find himself a home at Kapama and that sightings of him be more frequent because he certainly is unlike any other.

Clive Carelse – Kapama River Lodge