Elephants dominate the headlines in October

Elephants dominate the headlines in October

In the past month, we have seen a significant increase in the number of elephant sightings. In fact, these magnificent pachyderms account for 46% of the recent sightings, which is a notable increase from the yearly average of 30%.

We’ve had quite a few elephant-spotting adventures in the latter half of the month, even though it’s been drizzling. But hang on a sec, could it be that our other critter companions are taking a break from the limelight, now that they can quench their thirst from the newly formed pools scattered across the reserve? I’m convinced that the fresh grass is bursting with so much moisture that the wildlife are fulfilling their thirst and don’t need to swing by the waterhole as much.

Elephants' Water Playtime Creates a Mini Tsunami

As the month drew to a close, we were hit with an intense heatwave right before the arrival of cold, wet weather. During these hot days, the elephants had a blast submerging themselves in water, attempting to transform into hippos and whales to cool off. At one point, we had as many as 6 or 7 of these majestic creatures in the water, producing a miniature tsunami and sending water surging through the open shutters and into the hide. A word of caution to all future guests – be mindful of the potential for laptops and cameras to be washed away in floodwater!

A Couple of Lion Sightings during the Month

Lions were spotted on a few occasions during the month, which included some sightings during the day. We typically associate predator sightings with nighttime or dawn/dusk, so it’s easy to miss out on these unique sightings during the day. It can be frustrating to know that you could have seen it firsthand, but unfortunately, you were away for lunch. Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) can be bittersweet!

At the start of the month, warthogs made an appearance after being mostly absent during the winter months. It’s a puzzling behavior that’s difficult to explain – one would think that these animals would frequent water sources more often during the drier winter months. Additionally, the nyala and bushbuck friends have been missing for a while, and it’s unclear what happened to them. Perhaps they were taken by a predator or simply moved to a different location. Sadly, we lost one bushbuck to a leopard just below my house recently, highlighting the delicate balance of life in the wild.

It’s a revolving door of critters at the watering hole – duikers, giraffes, zebras – they all come and go. The recent rain may have something to do with their sporadic appearances. We’re sure the banded mongoose gang drops by more than our cameras capture; we catch mere glimpses of their visits. In fact, we’ve spotted a sneaky genet snatching up insects nearby the hide, a regular patron we almost missed.

The camp gardens are aflutter with avian antics!

The Yellow-billed Hornbills are back at it, making a cozy nest by sealing up those pesky holes with mud. Mrs Hornbill is now on lockdown for the next 7-8 weeks while Dad fetches her daily grub. Luckily, our feathered friends have discovered a bountiful supply of insects in front of the hide’s lights, providing ample opportunities for some close-up shots. And, the Green Woodhoopoes aren’t to be outdone, snagging the other Marula tree for their own love nest before the Woodland Kingfishers could swoop in. Let the games begin! We’re eagerly awaiting the kingfishers’ return in early November to see who will be crowned the nesting champions.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram @Antaresbushcamp to keep up to date with daily posts and reels from camera sightings.