A common thread seems to weave through today’s week in pictures. The sightings of elephants, lions and leopards have been in abundance across all of our camps. That’s not to say we haven’t seen large ungulates, even tempered herbivores, plains game and cunning birds of prey; it’s just that the big five sightings this week really stand out for us and we’ve thus proclaimed it “party central” for three of our big five! We hope you enjoy your weekend and this week’s week in pictures.
Here are the highlights from our camps.
There is a heavy presence of big cats in the Balule at the moment and you’d be forgiven for thinking that it’s a big cat only reserve! This week, however, huge breeding herds of elephants and buffalo have been spotted grazing and wallowing. The rains gave new life to the landscape, providing ideal conditions for new greens and grasses to flourish. Plenty of food for the herbivores, which means plenty of food for the carnivores and thus plenty of scraps for scavengers.
The food chain – isn’t it harsh but wonderful?
The Van Wijk’s leopardess is becoming a regular guest on game drive and there are plenty of lion sightings of the famous Olifants West Pride. Duma, the golden-haired dominant male of the Olifants West Pride is often seen patrolling his turf and protecting the pride.
Elephants are once again enjoying the waterholes in front of the lodge and continue to stroll under the skywalk at Billy’s Lodge.
A highlight which stands out this week is the discovery of two new leopard cubs in the Klaserie. Guests enjoyed sightings of Ross Dam and her two cubs two days in a row! The mother was on a kill and the cubs eagerly helped her devour the tasty morsels of the impala carcass. They cubs are roughly 4 months old and Ross Dam leopardess is confident enough to brng them out into the open.
Good news for the lions of the Klaserie! The Ross Pride breakaway females are appearing more regularly in our Klaserie sightings. Just the other day they were seen hiding in the thickets, out of view of a herd of buffalo. No doubt they were beginning their observation stage in the stalking phase of taking down a meal. The scavengers are out in full force, but then again, there are so many big cats around with plenty of meaty carcasses to steal.
The brief rains in the Klaserie have breathed new life and transformed the landscape. The pans and dams have filled up, creating a playpen for elephants! The buffalo and plains game are also enjoying the instant availability of food sources.
The Sabi Sand is always a major drawcard for leopard fanatics. Male leopard Mahlathini decided to take a stroll along the riverbed right in front of the lodge! The recent rains have ensured that the river is far more full than usual, which means the vegetation surrounding the area is lush. Plains game are naturally drawn to the area because of this, which means the leopard follow suite. Ranger Nicki Steenberg captured a fantastic clip of Mxabene getting up close to the game viewer ! That’s two major highlights in terms of leopard sightings this week. Hippos, honey badgers and birds of prey certainly haven’t shied away from the limelight. A successful week for the Sabi Sand.
As per usual, the game viewing in Botswana fails to disappoint. Days spent exploring the Moremi Game Reserve, the Chobe National Park and the Okavango Delta always impress with what’s on offer. Hippos and elephants are pretty much a guaranteed sighting.