As we have reached the height of the dry season, there have been some great sightings of game congregations close to the water sources. Some of the permanent water sources we have in the Selous Game Reserve include natural springs, lakes and the great Rufiji River. Lake Manze is among the lakes in the Selous that tends to attract a great number of different game species, which includes herbivores, predators and giant reptiles like Crocodiles. The drying out of this lake and the other water sources is the main reason for all these different species to gravitate to the much needed water and interactions between different species abounds. Lake Manze as it keeps drying out much more rapidly than other lakes means that in order to get to the water, the animals need to negotiate large sections of cloying mud flats and some times they get stuck! A few days ago my drive started as a relatively quiet morning, but by the time we were approaching the lake we started seeing plenty of herds of wildebeest heading down toward the lake to drink. Reaching the lake and we had a very good sighting of a dead wildebeest that was stuck in the mud, crocodile were the first to scavenge from the carcass, it was so nice to watch crocodile scavenging on land and not in the water as we would normally see. A few minutes later came some vultures and hyenas to share the dead wildebeest, it was a very active morning but the action did not stop there. It seems like the lions must have been hiding in the bushes and after seeing the vultures landing in the swamp they came to inspect what was going on and that is when they found vultures and a few hyenas feeding on the wildebeest. So the lions eventually took over the carcass in the end but everyone got a little share before them.
Another great sighting that I had in the last few weeks when I went out on an afternoon game drive towards Selous Grave and I found a small herd of elephant were crushing and munching on the palm bushes, little did we or the elephant know but under one of the bushes there was an African civet hiding away, but now pretty much surrounded by elephant and losing his palm bush cover fast. He eventually escaped his precarious position but not without a bit of a chase from the elephants.
One of my “lifers” sighting was at our hippo pool when I saw a crocodile crawling on the back of a live hippo. The hippo seemed not too bothered at all. I have never seen this happening and it was a great excitement to me and to the guests.