Once again looking for that elusive leopard, we where driving up north where we found tracks earlier the morning…driving from dam to dam keeping a watchful eye on the setting sun me and my tracker new the time was running out for walking in the bush! Passing one of the dams we saw about 5dagga boys (old male buffalo’s) feeding calmly in the middle of the dam on a little island. Silently I wondered how they got there because the water was still deep around the island. Suddenly they got spooked and to my surprise the one buffalo dived into the water going nose under, and .soon the rest followed. I must say it was my first time seeing buffalo swim through deep water with only the nose and horns above water!!!
They swam calmly to the other side, gave one shake and continued feeding!
What a sighting! Well, after that the search for the leopard continued ….no luck yet!!!
Story by: Jessicah Dunne-Kapama River Lodge Ranger
I had some guests that had been at Kapama for two nights and were really rewarded with some incredible sightings, seeing almost every animal you could imagine apart from one and no it wasn’t the ‘elusive’ leopard it was the ‘elusive’ buffalo this time.
So we had one main mission this morning and that was to find a herd of African buffalo. I heard that the previous night a few of the other rangers had found a few buffalo around the southern part of the reserve so I decided to follow up. We tracked them for about 30mins before coming across one of the most amazing buffalo sightings I have seen. Two separate herds, each consisting of about 150+-, were about to join up at a waterhole. One herd was approaching from the west and the other from the east until they both met up, playing and drinking around the water.
It was awesome.
Story by : Calvin Du Plessis-Kapama River Lodge Ranger
The Ground Pangolin, or scaly ant-eater Manis temminckii, is one of four species of Pangolin found in Africa and is by far the most common in Southern Africa, (if common can be a word used in conjunction with pangolin.) They are by far one of the most difficult animals to spot. I have been actively in the Bush now for three years and have only seen one; the lions were trying to eat it and it had curled itself up into a protective ball giving only its hard outer scales to the hungry lions, which quickly gave up as these scales are almost impenetrable. A friend of mine has worked all over Southern Africa for the better part of 15 years and has NEVER seen one. They tend to occupy burrows in old termite mounds and are nocturnal, which adds to the elusiveness of this creature.
Pangolins eat mainly termites and ants. The tongue is roughly 50 cm long and is held in a pouch in the mouth until needed for feeding. Underneath its hard scales is a soft underside that must be protected at all costs. If not rolled into a ball, the scales on the tail can be used to slash at attackers, as they are very sharp. The young, while small, will ride upon the mothers tail. Pangolin can grow up to 1 meter in length and is endangered in most of Southern Africa and Africa in general. The scales are used as love charms and they are highly susceptible to death in yearly fires. Pangolin are also found dead wrapped around the lower parts of electric fences that surround private and public game reserves in South Africa.
If perchance you are to view one of these spectacular little creatures while on game drive, please do remember just how special a sighting it is even though it is not part of the Big 5, the Small 5, or the Ugly 5. Trust me; your ranger will be so excited when he or she spots it that the uniqueness of the situation will not escape you. Happy Spotting!
Story by:Noelle Di Lorenzo-Kapama River Lodge Ranger
I just got back from my week off and could not wait to get back in the bush! I got a group of 13 people for 2 days that have never been on a game drive before! I decided I will go and try my luck to see if I could show them a big male lion that the other rangers found in the morning drive! Lions sleep about 20 hours of the day or should I rather say they are inactive for most of the day, so I knew we will find them in the same area more or less.
On the way there we found a breeding herd of elephants that were on there way out of the river! They found some interest in a giraffe carcass that has been there for a couple of weeks. The breeding herd was relaxed so we had some pretty excellent views on the babies and the big ones pushing trees over! I decided to look for the lion afterwards and it was exactly the same spot as before after the sun set it got mobile and we were in for a treat as it decided to make sure that we knew it was his territory, and gave us a couple of roars ! he walk straight passed our vehicle and off into the bush, what a way to start.
Story by Hendrik Erasmus-Kapama River Lodge Ranger
So here we go, not the rainy season just jet but we are getting small drizzles for the last two days.
This morning it was wet but the sightings was still good. We got the big male lion and he was full we are not sure what he ate but looking at his belly it was ten to one a warthog.
We had the elephants but they were not very relaxed and also a huge heard of buffalo.
By Johan Kruger