The Selous is getting drier and drier as we plunge into the dry season, all is golden and the leaves are falling like rain from the wilting trees and the smell of drying grass refreshing every breath. We can clearly see how the animals have started gathering in herds and closing in to bodies of water, this is a clear sign of an exciting dry season. Cats have started moving closer and closer to the lakes, it is that time where they just sit and wait for food to come to them weak with thirst.
I just saw my first kill for the season, I am not saying we caught the whole action but at least found this pride feasting on an Impala. It clearly was not enough for the whole pride of four lions and a cub. I reckon these lions are the pride we called last season the “Manze pride” and I used to call them the “greedy lions”. I was surprised that one of the male sub adults was still with the mother and a sister and an aunt. It was clear though that the mother was not so fond of him as she often growled at him probably suggesting he should leave. All in all it was great to see this pride again and to make it better they are doing well, I am a little concerned about the one other aunt and a brother and sister, where have they gone and how are they doing, we shall see as the season proceeds.
We are still in luck with our painted dogs, the one and only blacky’s pack. On the previous blog I mentioned that the alpha female was heavily pregnant, it is my great belief that she has found a den site and not far from us, we still see the rest of the pack in the area but its been a week or so since we last saw the female, this is a good sign for the dogs as the pack will get even stronger with the new members but again it will be at least three month with their presence around camp. This pack has been very successful last season where all seven puppies survived, if the same happens this season then this pack will get close to 20 individuals and in turn increase hunting success both in quantity and quality.
This evening I went to the Beho Beho International. On the sides of runway there were Giraffe and Impala. When I was watching the Giraffe I saw the Impala running to the hills. Suddenly four Wild dogs appeared from the bushes and chased them. I followed and found them resting about a kilometre away from the airstrip on the road (new Matambwe road). I stayed with them for about seven minutes and I heard the rest of the pack calling from the airstrip. All the Wild dogs woke up and ran towards the rest. Again I followed them until they rejoined with the rest of the pack. It was a Black pack of eleven wild dogs. The Alfa female wasn’t there. Last time when Heribert saw her she was fully pregnant. May be she found the den already. When they were at the airstrip the Giraffe were still there and four Hyenas came but the Wild dogs chased them away. It was Interesting to watch.