It is often that adjectives like “awesome”, “wonderful” & “incredible” find their way onto this blog because of all that nature’s got to offer. Not always though does it describe the truly “UNBELIEVABLE” occurrences that sometimes happen…
Two days ago me and Westley were standing just outside the Kapama Lodge main entrance door when we suddenly heard the herd of Impala going ballistic were they were grazing happily just minutes ago. We immediately knew something was up, as you could hear by their alarm snorts that they were deeply distressed. We were aware of a female Cheetah in the vicinity of the lodge, and we had some idea that they might just have spotted her…. Nothing however could prepare us for what happened next…
As we tried to figure out which direction the Impala were looking, they suddenly just scattered in all directions in full flight. Me and Westley stood there not knowing if we should maybe also run amids all the chaos. It was then when we spotted the cheetah coming from the bushes towards the door and immediately she targeted a young impala lamb that managed to make it’s way toward the lodge onto our driveway. The cheetah did not stop her charge because of our presence and got a hold of the poor impala lamb who desperately tried to free it self from the firm strangle hold in which the cheetah had it.
In true cheetah style the impala lamb was dismissed quickly and efficiently and she immediately started dragging the carcass away to the bushes just opposite the lodge where they found her later on drive, thoroughly enjoying her “not so hard earned” meal.
This whole incident lasted mere seconds but it took us almost half an hour getting over the hysterical laughs and total dis- believe at what we just witnessed. As luck would have it, Suzette had been playing around with a video camera that day and above all odd’s happen to be at the right time and the right place to capture the last moments of this truly amazing incident…
Just shows again that you never know what is going to happen next in the African bush.
As we had new arriving guests coming to stay with us for four nights it was again interesting to realise how awesome their first day must have been. Firstly during their transfer in our open vehicles from the airport into the reserve, they were lucky enough to be welcomed by a massive male leopard walking down the road. This of course made them very eager to get out there and maybe they somewhat expected the safari’s to get even better.
Luckily our game viewing, as usual didn’t disappoint, and soon after we left for our first safari we got news of another leopard sighting with a mother and her cub. Obviously our guests were overwhelmed with joy, as not even they expected to see three different leopards in their first couple of hours here.
After dark, as we were heading back to the lodge, we came across a Serval, which is also quite a well sought after sighting.
Truly a first day they will never forget…
Ranger – Kapama Lodge
On last nights safari we had quite a couple of unexpected sightings. Besides tracking a pride of lionesses and following them into the sunset, chuckling at their playfulness, we also came across a Serval walking down the road. These long legged cats are quite rare to see as they tend to hide away very quickly as soon as they detect humans or vehicles. They have distinctly large ears which are very useful in helping them detect and locating rats, mice and other vertebrates in long grass. Serval’s are also considered to be some of the best “jumpers” in nature, and it’s amazing to actually watch them “pluck” guinea fowl or other birds from the air in mid flight, sometimes as high as 3 metres above the ground.
Just before sunset we came across a Puff adder, one of the most dangerous snakes in Africa, soaking up the last rays from the sun and the radiant heat from the road. Into the evening we saw a flapnecked chameleon clinging for dear life onto a branch being whipped around in quite a strong breeze. A very amusing sight….
Sebastiaan Jansen Van Vuuren
Ranger – Kapama Main lodge
With our previous litter of lion cubs now being roughly 22 months old, their mother has now become pregnant again! The last sighting we had of her was about 2 weeks ago and we could see that she is lactating heavily. She headed into the area where she gave birth to her last litter and we haven’t seen her since. We are all waiting in aticipation for the next time we see her, hopefully with new cubs running around her feet, and some photos to share!
Watch this space, we will keep you updated..
Head Ranger – Kapama Lodge
As we departed from the lodge this morning we had only one intention and that was to find a male lion as there had not been a sighting for a few days now. I started driving off to the Southern part of the reserve looking for new tracks of the male lion. Luckily enough we sighted the tracks of both male and female lion.
As we were busy discussing the tracks we came across three African Civets that seemed to still be quite young. We were very amazed to see these kind of animals and especially that they were so relaxed with us being there. They are quite abundant throughout the reserve, but remain in the “not so often seen” catagory. Because of this we thought ourselves to be very lucky to find not one but three of them together, and that in broad daylight..!
Everyone was very excited at this point as the Civets vanished into the grass. We decided to carry on searching for lion tracks, and after about an hour and a half we spotted both the male and female lions together. A perfect ending to an already amazing drive.