A day does not go by without a story in Africa

One morning drive, one of the other rangers called tracks of our big male and female lions on the radio and asked for someone to come and help. When I got to the area, I saw how fresh these signs were and decided it is worth our time to follow these big cats.

As we were following, not even for a kilometre, we heard the male roaring not too far away. We wasted no time in following the loud roaring of this male lion. When we found him, he was lying under a tree, looking up while he was roaring – not a normal situation. As we looked up into the tree, we saw a leopard lying as high as he could to get away from the lions.

The lions were slowly losing interest in the leopard and moved a few meters away and fell asleep. This gave the leopard a slight chance to get away. As the leopard reached the ground, both lions jumped up and started chasing him. Luckily leopards are extremely good climbers and he made it up the nearest tree. This time, it was a smaller tree with very flimsy braches – the poor leopard was holding on for his life.

When we left, the leopard was still in the tree. But I heard that a herd of buffalo came to the rescue of the leopard and chased away the stubborn lions – a lucky break for the most elusive cat in Africa.

Nelson – Kapama River Lodge
20/07/2013

Times to remember

What can I say? Whenever we witness such beauty in the bush, it has to be shared and blogged. And the animal in question tonight is no stranger to blog stories.

Two nights in a row we have been blessed to see the magnificent leopard male. Monday evening it was casually walking northwards going about his business, smelling the ground and trying to catch insects as they flew away. The best part for me was the fact that an animal whose whole being revolves around not being seen; this one paid absolutely no attention to us as we witnessed him going about his daily life.

Unfortunately with animals walking, they tend do go through bush that is impossible to drive through. But that is the way it is and we consider ourselves lucky to see it in the first place.

On the following evening one of the other safari groups found that same leopard sleeping on top of a termite mound, and he continued to do so for almost the complete duration of our game drive time. Again showing the same complete lack of interest in these big noisy objects approaching and departing from where he was enjoying his late afternoon nap, only to lift his head occasionally to look in the direction of an interesting sound.

This gave us the opportunity to take pictures that looked very professional with less than adequate cameras. This was definitely an evening and a week to remember – absolutely amazing times in Africa.

Jacques Beukes – Kapama River Lodge
16/07/2013

Night life

Everyday on Kapama is a busy day for the rangers. We enjoy what we do, but for us it’s relaxing to go to bed and sleep at night. The other night after a very interesting day full of wonderful sightings I went to bed and was exhausted. It was only a few minutes and I was in dream land.

At 1 o’clock in the morning, I woke up due to some noises in the bush. At first I was confused and then it became clearer. There were Hyenas making their so-called laughing sounds, communicating with one another. A few minutes later a young male lion started roaring to identify his territory. He made three roaring sessions and the Hyena sounds slowly faded away.

After that, there was only silence, me in my warm bed and then I knew that nothing can compare with nature and all the special life within it. Just listening to the night life in the bush gives me goose bumps.

Janco Du Plessis – Kapama River Lodge
10/07/2013

An interesting match

My guests and I have been having a great time during our drives, watching general game as well as exciting animals such as lions and seeing them in their natural habitat. In one of our drives, just as the sun was starting to set, one of the guests on my vehicle spotted something small run across the road. He said it looked like a mouse. So we stopped and waited to see what it was.

While waiting, suddenly a small head pops out of a hole in the ground – it was a dwarf mongoose. After a few more seconds, more heads started coming out, curious about this big thing watching them. As time went by, they became brave and started coming out of the holes and started playing and sniffing around.

The dwarf and the banded mongoose are the only two species that live in groups. The others (white-tailed mongoose and slender mongoose) are solitary.

As we watched the dwarf mongoose, I told my guests a few interesting facts about them. They actually have a symbiotic relationship with the hornbill (otherwise known as Zazu from The Lion King). As the mongoose look for food on the ground, the hornbill will catch any insects that fly up to get away from the mongoose. On the other hand, the mongoose family relies on the hornbill for their alarm calls – if signalled they will run back into their holes for cover. The hornbill will also give certain calls in the morning to wake them up in order to search for food.

This interesting relationship is quite successful and works well for both species.

Harry – Kapama River Lodge
09/07/2013

An evening to remember

Tonight, my guests and I followed a herd of elephants through a very big riverbed. The tracks were fresh therefore we knew we were close by. Unfortunately, we got stuck in the riverbed, trying for almost an hour to dig ourselves out. Luckily we managed to get out but we then didn’t have enough sun light to continue our search.

By a huge amount of luck, we found our big male lion mating with another female. This is a sighting that does not occur very often. So hopefully we will have a few new cubs to welcome to the Kapama family in the near future.

Pieter – Kapama River Lodge
06/07/2013