Ivory Wilderness Riversong Camp is located on an elevated area overlooking the Klaserie River, which is a major drawcard for a wealth of wildlife. Game drives are always a highlight of any safari experience, but back at camp there are also exceptional sightings from the expansive, wrap-around deck area. While standing around chatting to Warren about the recent sightings, it is not uncommon to see a herd of elephants in the river below. Ivory Wilderness is basically a double-up safari experience! Sightings on drive and back at the camp. A two for one, if you will. Warren has managed to film a few sightings from camp, which are loaded onto the Facebook page. Proof of our sightings !
Where else in the world can you watch a leopard chase its prey while while relaxing on the balcony of your holiday accommodation? And those aren’t the only sightings enjoyed from camp!
Read Warren’s update below to find out more.
1. Guests witnessed a locally denning wild dog pack become intolerant towards hyena, who have cleverly caught onto their presence. The hyenas have learnt to follow the painted dogs in order to scavenge from their hard-earned quarry, and the dogs are having to chase off the opportunistic hyena.
2. A leopard was spotted from camp. It was the herds of antelope that alerted everyone to the presence of this stealthy rosette patterned cat. The video of this event is shared on the Ivory Wilderness Facebook page and is worth watching just to hear the deep alarm calls from the impala reverberating through the valley.
Warren wrote, “Deep throaty barking and stamping hooves across the bank alerted us in camp. Not just one or two, but several kudu and impala were roused and on high alert. We gathered at the viewing deck above the Klaserie river as our tracker called “Leopard!” in a hushed tone and pointed beyond the rallying antelope. It had lost its stalk and was loping up the hillside without care. As the antelope grouped together in numbers, gaining courage, they warded the leopard off and it melted away into the bush to set up another stalk. Leopards can be most stealthy, but if you can’t spot them the antelope will surely let you know.”
3. This was not the only leopard sighting of the week. Warren says that they enjoyed a sighting of a leopard devouring its breakfast in the safety of a tree. Breakfast with a view! This sighting happened on one of the early morning game drives.
4. The elephant sightings are abundant. Sightings are happening from both the confines of camp, while out on game drive and on bush walk. The elephants have been taking advantage of the green reeds in the river bed in front of camp.
Warren says, “We’ve had some young bulls and older bulls in their patriarch group linger around the riverbed in front of camp. It is always such a privilege to spend time in the presence of these curious, social bulls. Young ellie bulls are often the most social of all elephants. Having recently been pushed out from their family herd, they still crave and seek out attention and interaction. A herd of elephants (females and offspring making up a matriarch society) also created a large mud bath in the riverbed below camp. They were heard after dark sloshing in the water below, and crunching through the reeds to reveal a large mud pit the following morning. As the river level is dropping, the role of elephants in making water available to all other species is emphasised. With their heavy weight and dexterous trunk, they can dig into dry riverbeds and reveal fresh, clean water from the water table below. “
5. Another key sighting was that of the lions of Ivory Wilderness Riversong Camp. This time it wasn’t Duma with the spectacular mane, but rather the Dundee Pride. The mothers and cubs were spotted playing on the banks of the river early one morning. One of the Dundee sub-adults was also sighted at dusk while a venue of vultures watched over the landscape below. Apart from that, there have also been plenty of plains game sightings. A favourite being that of an old, dominant giraffe bull, whose face reflects his battle history and triumphs for mating rights. This beautiful old bull is so full of character!
Warren says, “This week we were awed by the hardship, survival and resilience of nature. We had local warriors, who have triumphed through the trials of life, including home range acquisition, assuring mates and passing on their strong genes to the next generation.”