The grass is shoulder height at the moment, thanks to the late March rains, and game viewing is at its most challenging. That said, there are still many spectacular sightings to see. This is one of the more unusual ones, taken directly from the sighting report log that morning, “The highlight of the morning was the 3.5 metre python, camouflaged in the grass just on the side of the road. As we tried to move the vehicle away to get a better view, the monster snake bolted and slithered under the vehicle, nesting itself on top of the fuel tank! This sent everyone who was still on the vehicle flying out in a matter of seconds. Twenty minutes later, we managed to get the python out from underneath the vehicle, and everyone had a good and much-relieved laugh.”
Here are some of the ‘tamer’ highlights of April:
Lions: Very good lion sightings – thanks to our dedicated lion tracking team. The highlight was a pride on a giraffe kill – the full story follows.
Cheetahs: Excellent sightings of a coalition of two males. Cheetahs prefer areas of open space and short grass, and these areas are few and far between right now, so it narrows the playing field of where to look for them. The month’s highlight was when guests watched two cheetahs chase and narrowly miss a wildebeest calf.
Leopards: Again, the tall grass has its advantages – leopards prefer to move about on the roads at dusk and dawn, to avoid the unforeseen dangers of tall grass, the noise it makes and the parasites it holds. It’s been one of our best months for viewing leopards because of this. Here’s another extract from our sighting report log where a hyena and the open area around a pan provided an unforgettable experience, “Had a short game drive to Nyari Pan for a sundowner. Enjoyed sharing the view with a hyena coming close to the vehicle, although its jumpy behaviour raised some suspicion. We traced the bush with the spotlight to see what was upsetting it and found a healthy-sized leopard hiding in the thick grass. He walked gracefully to come and drink at the pan, right in front of the vehicle.”
Wild dogs: We don’t want to count our chickens before they hatch, but we’ve been catching glimpses of a pack of wild dogs and it looks like the alpha female is scouting about for a den-site!
Hyenas: Hyenas have been seen here and there at dawn and dusk – but the highlight was to see seven of them hassling a pack of wild dogs on the open area of our airstrip.
Rhinos: The black and white rhino population is well concealed in the long grass and thick bush. The best way to see them now is to do an approach on foot. This is recommended for viewing white rhinos, but black rhinos are a different matter – for that your tree climbing skills and nerve of steel need to be honed.
Elephants and buffalo: There are vast herds of both species to be seen at the moment as all the related family units join up to feed on the abundance of grass.