Last morning, one mission

It is funny how often it happens when guests check out that there is always that one animal you so badly want to show to the guests, and you have one drive left to do it in, equally funny is how it almost always turn out perfectly.

This morning was one of those, and we left the lodge with one mission…. Finding  Elephants! We headed towards the south of the reserve to see if we could pick up on  tracks from a herd that frequents this part of the reserve. It didn’t take to long for us to find the fresh signs and followed it towards the inflow of  Klein Kariba Dam. We finally saw them and had a fantastic sighting. Then suddenly everything just started happening all at once! With big smiles on our faces we just sat back and saw Buffalo, Rhino and Giraffe coming to the same waterhole at the same time. 

It was quite surprising to see all of these species joining each other at the waterhole, and we found it very interesting how the elephants wasn’t bothered by the buffalo and rhino, but kept chasing the giraffe away. Maybe they felt “inferior” knowing giraffe are much “higher” than them… who knows what is going on in their minds?

We sat there for quite a wile, and after this very interesting and unexpected sighting we dicided that it is time for our morning coffee and left the area knowing that our mission for this morning was complete.

Jeffrey Mmadi – Kapama Lodge Ranger

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Last chance safari…

On this mornings game drive we headed out with one intention, and one intention only!! To find lions. We were under a bit of pressure as we  had guests checking out today that hadn’t had a good sighting yet.

 

Luckily shortly after leaving the lodge, we stumbled across some spoor of the lions from late the previous evening… a good sign so far, and we could feel the excitement levels starting to build from our group of American students!

 

We decided to drop off the trackers hoping that they would be able to find the lions for us wile tracking them on foot!

 

We left our trackers to do what they do best, and decided to head of and see what we manage to find on our own while they were busy. They normally contact us on the radio if they do manage to find anything.

 

While waiting for them we managed to find a herd of elephants browsing on some trees, with a new little calf running around at their feet… always a treat to see young animals at play. After leaving the herd of elephants we still hadn’t heard anything from the trackers, so carrying on we found a crash of 6 rhino. It is also always fantastic to see a group of rhino together!

 

With still no word from the trackers, we all decided to stop for a cup of hot chocolate as it was cold and raining and we could feel the anticipation mount as we were waiting to hear from them, still out trying to track down some lions..

 

After a nice coffee stop we got going again, just in time to hear the good news from our trackers! They had found the lions…  one lioness with 3 eighteen month old cubs. As you would expect we headed straight there and were blessed with an awesome sighting of the cubs playing with their mother and investigating everything they see!

 

After spending some time with them and with smiles on the guests faces we headed back to the lodge for a well earned breakfast!

 

Thanks to the trackers for making it an awesome safari for us!

 

Tim

Head Ranger

Kapama Main Lodge

 

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First summer rain…

As we left the lodge this morning the weather was not really on our side as it was cloudy with quite a heavy drizzle. We decided however, that this would not stop us, and it was actually pleasant to smell the first summer rain, feel the drops on our faces and inhaling that fresh air that comes with the rain. It felt like the bush was just waking up and bird song that was missing during the winter was everywhere around us.

We had quite a good start as we found a herd of buffalo heading towards a waterhole soon after we left the lodge. We continued to try and locate the lions and after some tracking, saw them from a distance across one of the drainage lines where we expect they keep the young cubs born about 5 weeks ago. We decided to not venture closer just in case the youngsters are around. After a wile we left them (without even a glimpse of any babies…) and carried on further to see what else we could find. After some good general game viewing we decided to stop for coffee and on our way to a suitable (safe)  area came across a breeding herd of elephant with quite a couple of youngsters amongst them.

One could see they where also elated about the first rain and just went on playing all the time around our vehicle. We stayed for quite a wile watching the youngsters’ antics, and afterwards left to head back to the lodge for breakfast. Yet another very fruitfull drive despite the weather.

Jeffrey Mmadi – Kapama Lodge Ranger

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Warthog for dinner…

While out on drive last night we got word of a single lioness at one of the waterholes not too  far from the lodge. We decided to go and have a look and on our way there found three 1 year old cubs also heading in the females’ direction. We could hear their soft grunts and we knew mom was most probably calling from the waterhole and they were answering. They eventually reunited with mommy and settled down for a drink of water.  Very soon after, the peace and quiet was disturbed by to young elephant bulls “bullying” their way to the waters edge.

The lions gave way as one could clearly see they are not in the mood two be pushed around by the two boisterous youngsters. We watched the elephants for a wile, and decided to leave and follow up on the lions we just saw. Big was our surprise to find them on a warthog kill.  It is always interesting to watch them squabble over the food and believe me, it can get quite messy… The lioness must have made the kill a bit earlier, ate some, and then called the cubs in for their “dinner”. We stayed there watching for a wile, and then left for some sustenance of our own after all the action.

Sebastiaan JV Vuuren – Kapama Lodge Ranger

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Gotcha..!

At last yesterday afternoon the weather had cleared a bit and took a turn for the better. As we set out for our afternoon safari, it was still a bit overcast, and windy but not nearly as bad as it was that morning. Soon after we left we located a herd of Buffalo lying in the inflow of one of our very scenic dams called Klein Kariba. They were soon joined by two Rhino, but they were a bit skittish and didn’t stick around for too long. We left the area and soon spotted another two White Rhino on the other side of the Munwana River (which is mostly dry during our winter). We left them and after viewing some nice numbers of general game, we stopped for sun-downer drinks.

We set out to find some lions afterwards, as with the bad weather we had this morning they kept themselves scarce and we were on a mission to find at least some of them. We were elated to finally located a small pride after some very intense tracking,  and we could at last show our guests  a big male and female with her previous years’ cubs. We also got word that another female has given birth, but more about that at a later stage when the cubs are old enough to follow up on without freaking them out.

Sebastiaan JV Vuuren

Ranger – Kapama Lodge

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