This morning at 6:45 Dora and I were sitting in our usual spot in the bar, drinking our tea and discussing the day ahead and our list of things to do. We could hear the lions roaring and started to guess how far away they were. What we weren’t expecting was in actual fact there was a lion only 15 meters away. She ran through our car park, before turning and running back towards us and past the self catering kitchen. She then ducked down into the gully and disappeared after a baby impala. What a fantastic way to start the day! Maybe not for the baby impala…
It has been a fantastic month for game viewing. October is known as suicide month in the valley for 2 reasons. The first being the intense heat before the rains arrive, and the second being due to how active the predators are and the dangers involved just going down to the river to drink. The Lions, Leopards, hyena and crocodile always flourish this time of year; with all the animals needing to come to the main river to drink, as all the watering holes and lagoons have dried up. It makes for easy hunting.
I have been out guiding a fair bit this month, and have been fortunate to have seen several different prides of lions, some on kills and others on the hunt as well as five little lion cubs in the Nsefu sector.
Leopards on kills or stalking their unexpecting prey. A baby hyena who was completely un- phased by my presence, and lifted his head once to see who had rolled up next to him and then carried on with his afternoon rest; much to my dismay, as I was hoping for a great photo of the scruffy little spotted hyena.
I have also had the pleasure of watching large herds of the Buffalo coming down to the water to drink and the daily river crossing of the elephants. However one of my best sightings this month was in fact, watching a pod of hippos and suddenly a crocodile leaps out of the water onto a hippos back, grabs the poor
unexpecting ox- pecker and then slides back into the water to enjoy his little starter. What was amazing bout the whole scene was the hippo did not even flinch and within seconds it was all over and the river looked tranquil and calm and no one would know of the lurking dangers below the water.
Phil, Sly, Billy and Andrew too have had brilliant sightings and have had many happy guests who have watched a few spectacular yet horrifying kills, as well as breathtaking sunsets.
With all the bloodshed under the hot African skies,we have forgotten to mention that October is also a great month for new life. The vervet monkeys have given birth to cute little blue bellied babies.
The impalas are just starting to lamb, and in anticipation to the rains, the Mopani tree buds are starting to appear. I have heard from several of the guides that they have seen some very tiny little baby elephants too.
Well that’s all for me for this month.
Have a great November.
Colls and the Wildlife team.