Who let the dogs out

We were fortunate to have a pack of wild dogs on Kapama. Wild dogs require massive home ranges and decided to pass through our reserve. I was on my afternoon game drive when I heard on the radio that this pack had been found so I responded immediately. Luckily for us, there was only one other vehicle interested so we could spend some time with them.

We stayed with the dogs for about 45 minutes and we noticed that they were looking for something to eat. All of a sudden, their momentum and stature changed and they were engaging in a full chase after a young waterbuck left alone by the mother. Soon, the chase ended and they had caught the waterbuck. All the dogs surrounded their prey and it was devoured within minutes.

Wild dogs are extremely good hunters and have a success rate of about 90%, especially since they are endurance runners.

This wild dog kill was a first for me and my guests. It is definitely a memory that will stay with us for a very long time.

Clive – Kapama River Lodge

A new adventure

It has been a great month so far; some say we guides have seen everything. Well, I saw something that I have never really seen before. I’ve seen them run across the road or into the thick bushes before, never have I had proper visual. They fall in my personal top 3 animals but unfortunately, we do not get to view them very often here on Kapama.

We all know that the bush is always full of surprises and I had a few great sightings of these 14 wild dogs that have found their way through our property. I was pleasantly surprised and so were my guests. Something new always makes this “adventure” so much better.

Jakes – Kapama River Lodge

Common questions

Some of the questions that we get asked the most is the gestation periods and how many young each animal gives birth to.

So today I am going to give you a list of some of the animals of the gestation and number of births per animal:

Animal: Gestation: Number of young:
Vervet monkey 5 ½ months 1
Baboon 6 months 1
Pangolin 4 ½ months 1
Porcupine 94 days 1 – 3
African Wild Dog 70 days 2 -21
Black backed jackal 60 days 1 – 6
Honey badger 6 months 1 – 4
Dwarf mongoose 63 days 2 – 3
Spotted hyena 90 days 1 – 2
Lion 110 days 1 – 4 (6)
Leopard 100 days 2 – 3
Cheetah 95 days 1 – 6
Elephants 22 months 1
White Rhino 16 months 1
Giraffe 15 months 1
Impala 7 months 1
Blue wildebeest 9 months 1
Waterbuck 9 months 1
Nyala 7 ½ moths 1
Kudu 9 months 1
Zebra 375 days 1

Stefan De Weerd – Kapama River Lodge

Another beautiful day in Africa

This afternoon, my guests were specifically interested in seeing the hippo, therefore, I make it my priority to try and find a couple. We searched from dam to dam and luckily just as the sun was setting we found a few in the water. I told my guests that this is the time of day when they start coming out of the water to graze. One by one, they came out of the water. Shortly afterwards, a big herd of elephants came to join.

The hippos started opening their mouths as wide as they can in order to show off their massive incisors – this is what they do in order to intimidate other animals. However, the elephants did not seem to be bothered by the hippos – they are, after all, the biggest land animals. The elephants just became more aggressive and started trumpeting and running towards the hippos. The hippos were left with no choice but to run into the water for safety.

Unfortunately for the hippos, elephants are not afraid of water – one of the elephants followed the hippos into the water and forced them to get out on the other side of the dam. All the young elephants were having a blast as they were the ones antagonising the poor hippos.

My guests and I had an amazing sighting and couldn’t believe our eyes.

Nelson – Kapama River Lodge

The smaller things

We had a good morning on safari. We watched a herd of elephants drinking and swimming in a watering hole – something that is quite exciting to see. We watched them for quite some time and then decided to stop for a quick coffee break.

While chatting to the guests, I heard some birds giving their alarm call in a nearby tree. So I decided to investigate. The birds were blue waxbills and they were sitting in a buffalo thorn, screaming and shouting at something. As I looked at the one branch, I saw a snake and called over my guests to show them.

The snake was busy eating one of the chicks out of the nest. It was sad but it was interesting to see how the rest of the blue waxbills started to attack the snake with full force. The blue waxbill is a very small bird and to see the courage of such a small creature was quite amazing to see.

My guests were also intrigued by this behvaiour.

It was good to see that guests can also enjoy the smaller things in the African bush.

Harry – Kapama River Lodge