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June 2006
Page 1 of 2

Page 1 Updates
Wilderness Safaris News - Info and updates from Wilderness Safaris

• North Island Dive Report from the Seychelles.
Kwando Safaris game reports.

• Update on the 2006 Okavango Delta flood

• Monthly update from Mombo Camp in Botswana.
• Monthly update from Savuti Camp in Botswana.
• Monthly update from Kings Pool Camp in Botswana.
• Monthly update from DumaTau Camp in Botswana.

Page 2 Updates
• Monthly update from Tubu Tree Camp in Botswana.
• Monthly update from Jao Camp in Botswana.
• Monthly update from Kwetsani Camp in Botswana.
• Monthly update from Duba Plains Camp in Botswana.
• Monthly update from Jack's Camp in Botswana.
• Monthly update from Palmwag Rhino Camp in Namibia.
• Monthly update from Serra Cafema Camp in Namibia.
• Monthly update from Little Ongava in Namibia.
• Monthly update from Doro Nawas Camp in Namibia.

Monthly Dive report from Rocktail Bay in South Africa.

• Monthly update from Pafuri Camp in South Africa.

Wilderness Safaris Updates - June 2006
Mashatu - Pafuri - MalaMala Packages                Jump to Pafuri Camp                Jump to Mashatu Camps
Pafuri - Mashatu - MalaMala Safaris
Wilderness Safaris is pleased to release a variety of exciting packages combining its dramatic Pafuri Camp in the extreme northern Kruger National Park, with Mashatu Game Reserve in the Tuli Block in south-east Botswana and the renowned MalaMala Game Reserve in the Sabi Sand. Wilderness Safaris has enjoyed a long association of mutual support with Rattray Reserves and believes that these two properties represent an ideal combination with Pafuri.

Each of the three camps offers its own unique elements, but combined they create an exceptional and varied itinerary for both first-time visitors and returning safari connoisseurs. Mashatu has the largest elephant herds on privately owned land, open plains and interesting species, Pafuri Camp's exceptional scenery, remote wilderness and good all-round game and bird viewing and MalaMala’s high predator and white rhino densities of the Sabi Sand are together an exciting and innovative combination.

The packages have been designed to suit travellers with different budgets, time constraints and preferences. From the point of view of price, species diversity and the chance to experience the highlights of wild South Africa along with an introduction to Botswana – all these factors create an outstanding and memorable Southern African itinerary that is sure to appeal.

Packages include: All applicable park fees, transfers between camps, two special activities at Mashatu, insurance at Wilderness Safaris properties and standard camp inclusions.
Packages exclude: Transfers to Mashatu; transfers from MalaMala or Pafuri where applicable.

3 nights Mashatu Main Camp
3 nights Pafuri
2 nights MalaMala Main Camp
3 nights Mashatu Tented Camp
3 nights Pafuri
2 nights MalaMala Main Camp
3 nights Mashatu Main Camp
3 nights Pafuri
3 nights Mashatu Tented Camp
3 nights Pafuri
2 nights Mashatu Main Camp
2 nights Pafuri
2 nights Mashatu Tented Camp
2 nights Pafuri

New baby elephant at Abu                Jump to Abu Camp
The arrival at Elephant Back Safaris’ Abu Camp of a healthy baby bull was greeted with much joy. Baby Abu, named after the famous leader of the herd who died four years ago, was born to Sirheni just after 6h00 on Wednesday 24 May. Little Abu’s father is believed to be Mafunyane, one of the elephants released into the wild; this event provides fascinating insight into the interaction between the riding herd at Abu and those elephants released.

Baby Abu will also provide valuable information on elephant relations to be monitored by the research team based at the nearby Seba Camp. The team is conducting a study on the how the elephants released back into the wild interact with their surroundings and with the wild herds they encounter.

Flight news
Sefofane Namibia are happy to announce that as is the case in Botswana guests may now take 20kg (44 pounds) instead of the 12kg formerly allowed as a maximum per guest. All bags need to be soft, no wheels and of a reasonable size. This new allowance applies ONLY to:
• Skeleton Coast Safari
• Seat rates on our flying in Namibia
• Private charters with a maximum of 4 people
Important: Best of Namibia Wing Safari and Explorations are still limited to 12kg per person.
Pilots reserve the right to reject baggage that is over the limit and which may jeopardize the safety requirements of the flight. Please also note that there is a luggage limit of 20kg for all our aircraft in Botswana for all flying; however, this does not mean that all aircraft are necessarily Caravans. Cessna 206 aircraft are still used extensively. Both luggage limits, the 12kg and 20kg, include hand luggage.

Hwange/Kafue special
From July 1 to October 31, 2006, we’re celebrating the opening of our new camps in Zambia with a special that includes 2 nights at Makalolo Plains in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe, and 3 nights at Shumba or Kapinga Bush Camps in Kafue National Park in Zambia.

Wildlife News

Black Rhino and lion at Mombo CampRecently at Mombo Camp, there was the extraordinary sight of a pride of lion wondering what to do with a black rhino. There are only a handful of black rhino in the wild in Botswana (see Botswana Rhino Reintroduction for more details), so even catching a glimpse of this well-protected beast is a privilege.

Imagine the excitement on the game drive vehicle when Mombo guide and guests saw a mature female black rhino a few kilometers from camp, surrounded by the six sub-adult lions from Mathata's Pride. The lions had circled her, trying their best to strategize a take-down. Since an adult black rhino can weigh up to 1 ton, this makes for a difficult target for a predator; it was more of a cat-and-mouse game for both.

There was great excitement at Ongava Lodge recently with a sighting of a black rhino cow with a calf less than a month old. The pair was seen at the Lodge waterhole. Ongava has also had a regular elephant bull visitor to the property which is fenced out of the neighboring Etosha National Park.

Sometimes, one doesn’t have to step far off the airstrip to find excitement. One of the Kubu male lions took down a huge buffalo cow as the herd crossed the airstrip, much to the amazement of a large group of guests from Vumbura Plains Camp waiting to fly out. The two Kubu Males enjoyed the feast for a few days and shared the catch with the Big Red females.

Green Turtle on North Island, SeychellesNorth Island is not just a spectacular vacation place; it is also built on strong environmental principles. At present, the Green Turtles continue to arrive to lay their eggs on our beaches, and guests have been thrilled to watch the hatchlings emerge. Guests and film crews have been able to watch the babies hatching and heading for the sea; in this way getting a glimpse of the entire life cycle and being made aware of Seychelles’ turtle conservation efforts and the success of this process on North Island.

The recent highlight for Chitabe was locating the resident pack of wild dogs. With the assistance of Dr. McNutt, who used radio telemetry to obtain a rough fix of their relative position from the air (two of the dogs have radio collars), the guides managed to locate them. Of the seven dogs that denned on the concession last year to produce seven puppies, four adults remain with five puppies, now almost a year old. One adult male has a wound on his left foreleg, but it doesn’t seem to be bothering him much. Guides and guests spent a magical half hour with the pack, watching them as one adventurous adult splashed around in the water of a small pan, before they took off deep into the Mopane woodland on their late-afternoon hunt. With a bit of luck, they will hopefully den upon the concession again this year.


Seychelles / North Island
North Island Dive Report - June 06               Jump to North Island

The south-east monsoon season has kicked in with all its might, producing some interesting ocean-going days. The water temperature has dropped from a dreamy 28°C to a slightly chillier 25°C. To most, that sounds like a hysterical comment to make, but when you are acclimatised to a water temperature in the high twenties, any drop of more than 1°C gets us running for the full wetsuits and hoodies. What a bunch of sillies we are!

Visibility has varied between 5m and 8m. It must be said however that good visibility prevents certain divers from noticing the smaller life right in front of them, whereas when you cannot see 3km away, it alerts you to the wonderful fishlife at short range. This is true diving for the fans of small life, hidden treasures and all those gorgeous camouflaged little critters that exist under the water, and there are plenty of them: White-capped prawn gobies, prawn gobies, raggy scorpionfish, stonefish, ghost pipefish to name but a few. What a delight to spot all those that are never usually noticed. I can't say that they enjoy the attention, as a lot of them hide away but if you are very careful and respectful and keep your distance and just watch, you will see them happily and confidently going about their every day business, keeping you entranced for ages if you have the patience to sit and watch - as most of our visitors do.

Due to the seasonal change, 'Sprat City' is now the place to dive. From June to mid-August this dive site absolutely bursts with life. The small sprats (hence the name 'Sprat City', as we discovered this site in June 2003 with all the action of the sprats - small fish) have come out onto the three coral bommies that they usually frequent on this site, and as they grow larger from being tiny pinpricks to looking like a fish species, the excited blue spot kingfish (jacks) dart this way and that, trying desperately to get an easy meal. This in turn brings the ever-curious and ready-for-action white tip reef sharks out onto the reef, appearing like ghosts out of the tight ball of sprats. The seasonal pick handle barracuda have arrived, hovering in their tight shoals just off the reef and in mid-water. This shoal is fascinating to observe. They arrive just off the reef, swaying this way and that, some more curious than others, some drawing closer to the divers and circling and checking the scene out, others not that adventurous, re-forming themselves and hugging each other close, no words needed.

With all of this action it comes as no surprise that the giant sleepy sharks have arrived again, lying lazily under the ledges or from time to time gracing the divers with a show of themselves, an irritated flick of the tail and a hasty retreat under another ledge. To those divers that only get a glimpse of the fast retreat, this species looks huge with fins everywhere. When you actually get a good look at a slower moving animal, you realise how harmless they look. These sharks are part of the nurse shark family.

The first whale shark of the season was spotted close to Mahé. Excitement is growing at the start of the season now, sightings and research is foremost on the minds of the dive team, all keen to get to snorkel or dive with one. The helicopter pilots are keeping us up to date with sightings so that if a whale shark is sighted near North Island, we can gather the guests together, launch the boat and spend time with the ocean's largest, most docile shark.

Spotted eagle rays have also been a huge attraction in front of the dive centre, playing in the shallows, floating and then leaping clear out of the water and splashing back down again. Sting rays have also been more frequently sighted, as have porcupine rays in the shallows off main beach.

Debbie Smith


Botswana Camps
Kwando Safari Camps Update - June 06

Lagoon camp               Jump to Lagoon Camp
• A shy pair of lionesses (one with a radio collar) seen several times - mostly resting – they later hunted and killed a young buffalo.
• The two dominant male lions (one blind in one eye) have been displaced by a pair of large black-maned lions which were followed hunting buffalo. They were later found feeding on a giraffe.
• A pride of four lionesses was followed hunting buffalo in the Water-cut area without success.
• Last week the Lagoon pride moved back into their old hunting grounds – they hunted and killed a buffalo. They later killed another buffalo further south. A few days ago they killed yet another buffalo but were chased off by the pair of dominant males, they later went on to kill a buffalo cow which they successfully defended against a clan of hyena.
• A relaxed female leopard was seen around the camp a few times hunting and marking her territory.
• A young male leopard was found resting on a termite mound, initially a little shy but eventually became very relaxed as he was followed into the night.
• A pair of male cheetah were tracked for some time before they were found feeding on a tsessebe. They were seen regularly around Lagoon.
• A adult female cheetah was found resting in the shade – the had blood around her face but looked hungry – guides suspect she lost her kill to another predator.
• The Lagoon pack of wild dogs (6) were seen almost every day – they were followed hunting on several occasions and were seen catching and eating an impala. The alpha female in the pack seems pregnant.
• Good numbers of elephants both in breeding herds and large bachelor herds are seen throughout the Lagoon area daily, with good numbers coming down to the river close to the camp throughout the day.
• Several herds of buffalo seen throughout the Lagoon area – the largest about 1500 strong. Plenty of lion buffalo interaction as well at bulls fighting.
• General game seen include giraffe, zebra, lechwe, waterbuck, impala, reedbuck, tsessebe, wildebeest, kudu, warthogs and hippo.
• Night sightings include both species of jackals, hyenas, porcupines, civets, African wild cats, honey badgers (one feeding on a bird), a couple of caracals and servals, genets. Also seen at night were several different owl species and chameleons.
• Bird-viewing still good – several raptors species seen, and the viewing of water-birds along the floodplains, and on the river-cruises good.

Kwara camp               Jump to Kwara Camp
• A pride of four lionesses, and one male were followed hunting at night – they were found the following afternoon feeding on an adult male kudu.
• 3 adult male lions with 2 lionesses and three 12 week old cubs were found. One of the lionesses was in heat and one of the males was mating with her.
• 2 lionesses were found, one was feeding on a guinea-fowl, they were later seen swimming across one of the delta channels.
• 2 lionesses and a male were seen from the boat feeding on a buffalo, while a pride of 5 lionesses was followed at night hunting impala.
• A young male leopard was found feeding on a sub-adult baboon, another leopard an adult female was seen at night but lost going into the long grass.
• 3 male cheetah were found resting just after sunset – they appeared to have fed.
• A single male cheetah was followed hunting and scent-marking – as the day heated up he lay down in the shade of a tree.
• A single wild dog was found running and calling to locate other pack members.
• A pack of 3 wild dogs with 8 puppies (est. 10 weeks old) were found feeding on a kudu calf. This pack was viewed for some time at the den often seen feeding the youngsters at night as well as hunting. Last week the adults moved their den and have not yet been relocated.
• Several groups of elephant bulls seen – the largest 10 together with a couple of the bulls sparring with each other for dominance.
• One herd of 500 buffalo was seen as well as a smaller herd and a couple of bachelor herds – the small groups of bulls being a bit skittish due to general predator activity.
• General game includes impala, kudu, lechwe, giraffe, zebra, waterbuck, warthogs, tsessebe and sable, with good hippo viewing from the camp.
• Night sightings include an African wild cat with a mouse in it mouth, (there are large numbers of mice around – lots seen on the road at night), serval, both jackal species, hyenas, aardvark, pangolin, honey badger, and a caracal with its kill (another mouse).
• Other small interesting sightings include a black mamba, puffadder, olive grass snake, Pels fishing owl, giant eagle owl, Long-crested eagle; Osprey, Gymnogene (African harrier hawk); a dwarf mongoose family basking in the sun, several chameleons, and several groups of ground hornbills.

Lebala camp               Jump to Lebala Camp
• A pride of 4 lionesses was seen for some time around week with 2 cubs of about 2 months, The lionesses were seen making a couple of kills, first a buffalo calf and then an adult cow – they lost the second kill to a pair of adult male lions the process of which left the cubs stranded up in a tree.
• Another 3 lionesses killed two zebra foals but lost their kills to hyena. They moved off and were joined by a couple of male lions in hunting a herd of buffalo but despite several attempts over a 2 day period were not successful. The 3 females were later on found on a warthog kill.
• 2 different pairs of male lions were followed hunting buffalo, while another pride of 3 lionesses with a young male were found feeding on another buffalo.
• A relaxed male leopard was found during the day and followed until he laid up for the day.
• An adult female and her sub-adult cub were found both feeding on an impala.
• A couple of other relaxed male leopards were found including one very large and well-fed individual.
• A pair of male cheetah were followed for about 5 hours – they finally chased and killed a young warthog.
• A well fed female cheetah was found resting at Twin pools, and later the 2 adult males were relocated – they were seen scent-marking and climbing trees. These 2 males later killed another warthog just south of the camp.
• A pack of 20 wild dogs was found late one morning – in the afternoon they were followed and chased impala without success. The next morning they were followed again and managed to kill an adult female impala. This pack was found again several times last seen late last week resting after a morning hunt.
• Large herds of elephants were seen both north and south of the camp, groups of 400-500 seen regularly crossing the wide floodplains.
• Large buffalo herds seen most game drives numbering around 500 – one herd of 1000 individuals was seen on Waterbuck island.
• Night sightings include servals (also a youngster seen), both jackal species, hyena all over the concession harassing both the lions and the wild dogs, African wild cats, bush babies, genets and chameleons.
• General game good: zebra, giraffe, impala, kudu, tsessebe, steenbuck, reedbuck, wildebeest, lechwe, baboons, Vervet monkeys, hippos in and out of the water and several mongoose species including a Selous mongoose.
• Other interesting sightings include puff-adder, olive grass snake, black mamba, Snouted cobra, African rock python, Kori bustard, wattled cranes, ground hornbills, Bateleur eagles, secretary birds, long-crested eagle, marabous, African hawk eagles and Gymnogene.


Okavango Flood update - July 10, 2006
After the heavy rains, which occured throughout northern Botswana in 2006, the water levels in the Delta are presently far above average.  This is because the flood water arriving from Angola has supplemented the above average rains over the Delta.  The result is that pans and channels which would typically have dried by now, still have water.

As always, the Okavango Delta is truly a dynamic ecosystem and this year's rains have made it a very interesting place indeed.  The Savuti Channel actually "flowed" for the first time in over 20 years (over 6 kilometers down the channel).  For photos - see the DumaTau update below.

Okavango flood chart - July 10, 2006


Mombo Camp update - June 06               Jump to Mombo Camp

Craig Higgins cooking lunch for the Eyes on Africa Digital Photography groupAnother month of Mombo magic: from spectacular sightings and interactions to great food and bush picnics. The minimum average temperature has been 9°C with an average maximum of 26°C. We received one minor rainfall this month of only 0.5mm - just a slight reminder of the last season's annual rainfall. The cooler sunrays create a softer light for photography thus allowing guests to snap away until the late hours of the morning, without having to use Photoshop.

The floodwaters have started to slow on their approach to the Island's periphery, but the waters are still creeping into old floodplains, currently getting close to Susie's Duck Pond and bringing with them hundreds of waterfowl and red lechwe.

James Weis' note:  Our Eyes on Africa Digital Photography Group visited Mombo for six days in June.  The photo at left shows Craig Higgins, Mombo's chef par exellence cooking a bush lunch for the group.  Image © 2006 James Weis.

Some of the highlights this past month include sightings of honey badgers, who visit the camp on a nightly basis. Susie's Duck Pond hosted a "honeymoon" pair of aardwolves, who were soon interrupted by the territorial black-backed jackals. The Tortillis Female leopard killed a baboon in camp, hoisted it in a tree across from room eight and then decided to bring her cubs into camp. The hyaena, who is forever breaking into the kitchen, stole her kill, thus she was only booked into Mombo for one night, leaving early the next morning.

June comprised a total of 39 leopard sightings, 56 lion sightings and three rhino sightings, two of which were of black rhino. The majority of the introduced rhino have dispersed over a large area now, establishing territories and home ranges throughout the country.

Our resident pack of five wild dogs was seen on a regular basis this month and is in good condition except for a few minor injuries. Mombo is in the process in researching the larger carnivore impact on the wild dogs in the area, with focus on the time it takes for the dogs to kill, versus the time it takes for their kill to be stolen. Spotted hyaena seem to have a considerable impact on to wild dog feeding success here at Mombo, we have photographs showing evidence to the skirmishes that occur between the two species.

Good news is that the alpha pair seen here mating on the 7th of June. Wild dogs have a very short gestation, 2.5 months, with the alpha female giving birth to up to 16 pups in a single litter. Throughout Botswana the majority of the wild dogs should be denning now because of their seasonal breeding. The mating ritual seems to be a little late in the year for the dogs, although there are no rules in the bush. In this instance the alpha female was missing for months and only rejoined the pack much later in the year, hence coming into season a little later. Towards the end of June it was observed that the alpha's teats were looking a little swollen - we will keep you posted.


White-headed Vulture atExciting news from Mombo is that we have confirmed the nests of no less than three White-headed Vulture pairs in the vicinity of the camp. The pans within the floodplains and acacia woodland are becoming shallower by the day, now giving waterbirds access to the fish that have been hiding in the deep waters. These small fish traps attract a range of species from, storks, pelicans, spoonbills, kingfishers and many small waders.

Image © 2006 James Weis.


Lion cubs of Mombo's Moporota prideDue to the ever increasing floodwaters a few "new" lions have entered our game drive area this month. The water has become deeper out to the west of Chiefs Island thus pushing the plains game back onto the main land, bringing those who prey on them. Three lions were seen in camp this month, noticeably a little shy of the vehicles. They killed a young giraffe the following morning very close to camp.

The 28-strong Mathata Pride has been frequenting areas close to camp, moving between the airstrip and the camp. This hugely successful pride requires a surplus amount of prey, and is now benefiting from the zebra herds moving into the area from the east. Competition is vicious during feeding; two of the cubs have broken tails, while a few have had their ears warmed from flying paws.

The Moporota Pride are still doing very well, spending most of their time up on the northern edge of the island. The pride still has not lost any of their twelve cubs.

James Weis' note:  Our group spent an entire morning alone with the Moporota pride and these lovely cubs as they played and interacted with the adults.  All the cubs looked very healthy.  Image © 2006 James Weis

We have had a few excellent sighting of the Far-Eastern Pan Female and her cub this month. There is one little guy who is definitely an entertainer.

Also of interest was a sighting of the Tortilis Female carrying the carcass of an African wildcat kitten back to her den. We had not seen her cubs for some days but on this occasion she led us straight to the new den site which unbeknown to us was across the water from Tent No 1.

"Outstanding food at every meal."
Highlights: "the drives, accommodation, friendly Mombo staff, the food"
Highlights: "Virtually everything - abundant game, accommodation, food and service!"
"Don't change a thing."
"Best highlight at Mombo would be seeing the pride of 28 lions which was amazing, also seeing and hearing the buffalo outside the tent."
"Seeing baby giraffe born just minutes ago and seeing afterbirth coming from mother."
"Certainly, excellent food, great guide, super management. Absolutely fantastic accommodation."


Savuti Camp update - June 06               Jump to Savuti Camp
A report on how two lionesses from the Savuti Pride lost their lives by Kane Motswana...

The 25th of June was not a good day at Savuti. Two of the lionesses from the resident pride lost their lives. They were killed by two intruding males, believed to have come from the adjacent Selinda concession. The two males were first seen in 2005, estimated age 4 years old. The two were massive and full of confidence, they marched into the Savuti Pride's territory and killed a buffalo behind tent seven in Savuti Camp. They were then seen on numerous occasions on the eastern side of camp where they spent most of the year until now.

The Savuti Pride consists of two males, four females and four cubs approximately a year old. One of the lionesses is believed to have two young cubs that she has not yet introduced to the pride. On the 24th, the two intruding males were seen about a kilometer from the pride. The two Savuti males had gone off patrolling their territory leaving the females behind in the channel.

The following night the two intruders attacked the females. One female ran off with three of the cubs and went as far as the Zibadianja Lagoon, the fourth cub got caught up in the attack and ran off on its own. The female with the young cubs ran to where she was hiding them and has not been seen since. Luckily a few days latter the fourth cub met up with the female and the three cubs.

During the course of that very evening, we came across a big herd of buffalo that were very nervous, and we were not sure as to why they were in such a state. We did not make anything of it and moved on. Not far from the buffalo we had a great sighting of a caracal hunting mice and being successful at it. While watching the caracal we heard noises coming from deep within the bush. We all thought that it was lions mating, but little did we know that it was in fact the two intruders attacking the females.

The following morning we came across a seriously wounded female at Dish Pan. She had been bitten on her back and her throat. She was struggling to breath and could hardly stand up. We left her at Dish Pan and not far from her on Phuduhudu road we found vultures feeding on another lioness. That evening the lioness that we left at Dish Pan died.

After all this we went to the place where we heard all the noise the previous evening and found the tracks of the two intruders, the area had been cleared like a football field as a result of the fight.

James Weis' note:  Our Eyes on Africa Digital Photography Group photographed the nomadic males on 23 June (see photo below).  Then on the morning of 25 June, we watched one of the badly injured females drinking water at Dish Pan; she died some hours later. See photo below.  Both images © 2006 James Weis.

Nomadic male lions in the Savuti Channel Injured lioness of the Savuti pride at Dish Pan

The female with the four cubs and the female with the two young cubs have still not met up. It's a question in everyone's mind as to whether the pride will build up again or will the intruders take over the area?

Two other sightings of interest recently have been the DumaTau wild dog pack and a python seen in the Savuti Channel near the Zibadianja Lagoon. The photo below is one of the wild dog males that we know as Elrond. He is one of the oldest in the pack and has been around since at least 2001.

Wild DogSouthern African Python

The python (photographed by Brian Rode) entered the water after being harassed by a flock of starlings and then hid in the muddy vegetation at the bottom. There is no doubt that the snakes have profited from the summer's rodent population explosion as a result of good rains and grass and forb production.

Kings Pool Camp update - June 06               Jump to Kings Pool Camp
The numerous pans dotted through the mopane woodland that dominates the interior of the Linyanti concession are finally beginning to dry, and, although it will be some time before the river claims its position as the only remaining water source, the elephants have already started to return. Guests and staff alike have welcomed the pachyderm presence, with herds of several hundred (elephants, not guests!) providing spectacular viewing as they cross the river border with Namibia.

It has been a far from quiet month in other respects too. Both the Linyanti Pack of five wild dogs and the DumaTau Pack of sixteen have been visibly active. The dominant female of the latter group when last seen was heavily pregnant, and is now thought to have given birth. In an incredible sighting at the beginning of the month, one of our guides recorded how he watched with guests as the dogs killed an impala, only to have it snatched from them by an opportunistic spotted hyaena. Not to be deprived of their hard-earned prey for long, the dogs promptly hassled the scavenger until it surrendered the impala back to them!

The Chobe male cheetah has been seen many times this month - feeding on a juvenile kudu on one occasion. Together with fourteen lion sightings, a handful of ever-elusive leopards, and some great sightings of the smaller cats - genets, civets and caracal - the carnivore tally for June looks very healthy.

Additional regular fascinating wildlife encounters range from the pair of Secretarybirds nesting right next to the airstrip (evidently tolerant of Sefofane's comings and goings!), to the now-familiar sight of the resident Kings Pool hippo - most frequently seen curled up in the shade of the boardwalk.

All told, June has been yet another wonderful month in a very special camp. We look forward to sharing our corner of Botswana's wilderness with all of our guests throughout July.

The Kings Pool Team

DumaTau Camp update - June 06               Jump to DumaTau Camp
Some game viewing highlights this month:

The DumaTau pack of 15 wild dogs were seen on a regular basis and we hold thumbs for their denning on the concession in the coming months.

Wild Dogs - DumaTau Camp

A sighting of a relaxed caracal that left the road and moved slowly into the mopane scrub.

A serval seen foraging on the open floodplains.

The discovery of a female African wild cat with 2 kittens hidden in a hollow log.

Regular sightings of the Savuti Pride including one sighting where they brought down an adult impala in front of the game drive vehicle. The two dominant males in the area of Zibadianja Lagoon, the Savuti Boys, also provided some good sightings.

Witnessing a minor territorial dispute between two female leopards that dissipated when one climbed a tree in search of some roosting guineafowl and then the two moved off in opposite directions.

Female leopard - DumaTau Camp

There has been a continued flow of water out of the Zibadianja Lagoon into the Savuti Channel to a distance of more than 6km! The water at the Lagoon is attracting a myriad of waterbirds and 10 pink-backed pelicans were seen there recently along with hundreds and even thousands of more common species.

Photos of the Savuti Channel (taken 22-June to 26-June 2006)
All images © 2006 James Weis.
Zibadianja Lagoon (far left) and water flowing down the Savuti Channel
Zibadianja Lagoon (far left) and water flowing down the Savuti Channel
Zibadianja Lagoon (upper left corner) and water flowing down the Savuti Channel
Zibadianja Lagoon (upper left corner) and water flowing down the Savuti Channel
Water in the Savuti Channel
Water in the Savuti Channel
Zebras and Wildebeests - this is over 4 kilometers down the channel
Zebras and Wildebeests - this is over 4 kilometers down the channel
White-faced Ducks enjoying the water in the Channel
White-faced Ducks enjoying the water in the Channel
The normally dry channel is now a picturesque waterland
The normally dry channel is now a picturesque waterland
Water in the channel just north of the old mopane bridge
Water in the channel just north of the old mopane bridge

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Wilderness Wildlife Trust            Eyes on Africa sponsors Children in the Wilderness            Eyes on Africa is a corporate sponsor of The African Wildlife Foundation

Eyes on Africa is proud to be a certified Fundi - a South Africa Tourism Specialist                           Eyes on Africa is endorsed by IATAN - International Airlines Travel Agent Network           Eyes on Africa is a member of the Better Business Bureau             Eyes on Africa is a member of ASTA - The American Society of Travel Agents (member #900143776)

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Eyes on Africa, Ltd.
1743 West Fletcher Street
Chicago, Illinois 60657
Tel: 800.457.9575 / 773.549.0169    Fax: 773.327.2977    Email: Eyes on Africa

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