Death of one Feeds Another

On yesterdays safari we were enjoying the sights and sounds of the African bush, when, one of our rangers “Jeffery” said he had found some very fresh tracks of the male Lion!

So we decided to go and help out and maybe get lucky in seeing him!

After roughly 30min of looking for him we found him at the waterhole having a drink of water with a real full belly, moving very slowly away from the water we noticed he was walking along a track that had been used the evening before by the lionesses.

As we were following we noticed a large group of Vultures circling over head, and also some perched in the trees, possibly the indication of a kill nearby, and with the male Lion having his full belly, it was then a sure sign of something having died!

After following the Lion for some time we discovered the females and the now 17month old cubs busy eating a giraffe!

As some of the guests favourite animals was  giraffes, the Lions were not that popular to them at that moment!

After an amazing sighting we left the lions to keep on feeding. This once again  shows how life in the bush is tough and the death of one will feed another

 

Sebastiaan Jansen van Vuuren

Kapama Lodge

Curios Little Ones

 

On one of our recent safaris, one of our rangers stumbled across another skulk of Black backed Jackal pups.

 

There were 6 young ones, roughly a few weeks old, busy running around being curious about their new surroundings close to the den, while the adults were lying around being lazy and making sure that the young ones don’t go wondering off too far!

 

In the evenings when the adult pair went off scavenging for food, the young Jackals practice the same thing around the den, catching creatures ranging from insects and lizards to other small creatures.

 

The interesting part for us was how curious they were about the game drive vehicles! We would stop roughly 20m away from them and they would gradually get more and more curious, until they were literally standing next to the vehicle!

 

A fantastic sighting for all of us, as is normal when there is babies of any kind involved.

 

The Big 5 are an incredible group of animals to look for but there’s so much more to nature than just seeking out the Big 5, and these little Jackals are a fine example of that!

 

Tim Verryenne

Head Ranger – Kapama Main

Leopard Kill!

leopard-and-kill-001leopard-and-kill-006A couple of days ago on our afternoon safari we where watching a Brown Snake Eagle proudly perched at the top of a tree, when suddenly the distress calls of Impala could be heard in the distance. We went to investigate and found a bachelor herd of Impala snorting and staring intently at something lying in the long grass in front of them.

Then we saw it… a Leopard with a strangle hold on a big impala ram, still kicking and struggling to get away. A Leopard however, pound for pound, is arguably one of the strongest cats and we knew the Impala was doomed. The female leopard held her grip until the Impala stopped struggling, then stood proudly over her kill wile scanning the surroundings for other predators who may have, like us, got alerted by the alarm calls made by the herd of impala and will surely come to investigate.

Predators do steal each others kills and often the hard work and effort made by one predator is capitalised on by another bigger or stronger one. The Leopard then dragged the Impala kill to a nearby Marula tree and started to feed for  a short while before moving off.

We went back the next morning and could’t figure out for sure if she had been back to feed again. We did however found a male Leopard’s tracks and lion tracks in the vicinity and by the end of the morning the vultures had reduced this kill to skin and bone.

Westley Lombard

Ranger – Kapama Lodge

Elephant VS. Lions

elephants-vs-lions (VIDEO CLIP) This morning we had one of the most amazing and intense sightings I’ve witnessed in quite a wile. It started with a sighting of a breeding herd of elephants. After watching them for a wile we left to follow up on some fresh lion spoor in the vicinity. We eventually spotted a sub-adult lioness at the very top of a Marula tree with non other than the herd of elephants surrounding the tree, trying their best to get a hold of the poor lioness. Then suddenly, everything just went crazy as the whole herd of elephant started to chase after the whole pride of lions.

The lions scattered in all directions  as the lioness in the tree also got a lucky break, got down the tree and ran for her life, with a young elephant bull almost on top of her. Luckily she avoided being stomped on, but only just escaped a gruesome death. Elephants are quite fast, but lions are much quicker and more agile and this counted in their favour.  This fact however did not keep the elephants from repeatedly chasing after and trying to get hold of the lions. Wave after wave of attacks on the lions sent them scattering time and time again, barely leaving them time to catch their breath and to re-group.

We can only assume that the lions took a chance to maybe prey on one of the infants in the elephant herd who is approx. 3 weeks old, and this would most likely be the reason the elephants where so intent on catching, injuring or possibly killing the lions.

The three young lionesses are quite “ambitious” and have been known to previously stalk rhino, and surely it shows that they still have an awefull lot to learn about staying out of trouble, and in the bush, experience counts for everything…

Westley Lombard

Ranger – Kapama Main Lodge

Snake!

As previously mentioned here, one of the questions we probably get the most from guests are, “are there any snakes around here?” The easy answer is normally “Yes!”. However, snakes are very elusive and even though there are in excess of 30 species recorded in this area, most guests will probably leave without having seen one.

Last night conditions were perfect… very hot, humid and a chance of rain, and during our night drive we spotted a Red lipped Herald crossing the road. Red lipped snakes are only mildly venomous and are partial to hunting frogs, small reptiles and then also the occasional small rodent. They can grow to lengths of up to 1 meter but average out at about 70cm. Normally they are olive green or grey with tiny white speckles.

The head is usually black or at least darker than the body and the distinguishing factor is the red, white, orange or yellowish upper lip. The belly is normally white to mother of pearl cream coloured. Red lip Herald snakes are nocturnal by habit and fairly common and widespread from here to all the way to our Cape Province (hence the name “Herald” which is a very well known newspaper in the eastern Cape).

Although most people find snakes quite “unpopular”, our sighting last night was  fascinating and our guests enjoyed every moment of  it!

Westley Lombard

Ranger – Kapama Main Lodge