July 2021

An afternoon well spent

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An afternoon well spent

Alex Naert
By Alex Naert
Field Guide

It was my guests’ first afternoon at Singita Pamushana and I decided to take them to the underground photo hide at Hwata Pan, here on the Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve. When we arrived there were no animals at the pan, so we went into the hide, set ourselves up and waited patiently.

It only took 10 minutes for a white rhino cow and her calf to show up. She cautiously walked up to the water’s edge and started drinking, whilst her calf stood beside her looking at the laughing doves. Before she had finished drinking two young white rhino bulls walked straight to the water and started drinking. Before long the cow and calf were standing away from the water with another cow and calf, and a couple more rhino at the waterhole. In total we had 11 white rhinos surrounding us!

As the sun started to set and the rhinos slowly disappeared into the mopane, a lone old buffalo bull came down to the water, looked around and walked away without drinking. We were enjoying the sound of the double-banded sandgrouse, when a young elephant bull came along to drink. He drank his fill and as he was walking off he flushed a male lion out of a grass patch! The elephant ran off in one direction and the lion in the other.

It was now the end of our first afternoon and it reminded me of another amazing afternoon spent there taking photographs of lions and rhinos, in the hide, at such close proximity to these large wild animals.