We woke early and were planning to go to Sunday’s Pan as the Dutch couple had told us that they had seen lion there, but as we were about to leave I heard a lot of Jackals calling on the pan right in front of our camp so I thought that I would change the plan and head down Deception Pan to Letiahau Waterhole .
The sun was just beginning to rise as we reached the pan. The grass was taking on a golden glow. Springbuck and Gemsbuck were grazing on the short grass and a Yellow-billed Kite sat on a sign board with a beautiful sky behind it – it was an amazing scene and it was going to be a game drive I won’t forget.
Families of Bat-eared foxes were all over the pans. These very cute little guys were busy foraging, grooming themselves and in and out of their burrows. They were great value to watch.
In the distance something was running across the pan, on closer observation we found it to be a jackal. We moved closer and soon we could see more and more. Their coats enhanced and glistening in the early morning golden light.
We moved off the first pan and moved through some low trees and bushes and as we rounded a corner there was a Brown Hyena just moving off the road. It is generally a shy, nocturnal animal and owing to this it is not often seen.
It wasn’t moving quickly and not showing any interest in us at all. It was smelling and marking on most bushes. It crossed the road in front of us and disappeared into some thick bush.
The next animal that halted our progress to the waterhole was ground squirrels – they were very active feeding, in and out of their holes and standing on their haunches looking out for any danger.
We continued to see them the whole drive and in places it looked as if there was a whole underground city, with tunnels linking many exit holes.
Then a first for me after many, many years in the bush, Sue saw a Small Spotted Cat, or also known as, a Black Footed Cat. This small cat is the size of a large domestic cat, generally nocturnal and secretive.
We stopped to see what animals were in a clump of trees and apart from Gemsbuck and Springbuck, Sue spotted a lioness that had lifted its head to look at us. After positioning ourselves in a better position we could see 4 lions lying under the trees, but unfortunately they were lying in longish grass.
Gemsbuck, Springbuck were seen all over and we were also fortunate to see 2 herds of giraffe and steenbuck were also plentiful.
I stopped when I saw a Springbuck looking intently into a bush and asked Sue to have a look and we weren’t disappointed as there was a big male lion fast a sleep. Which can clearly be seen in the picture below. 🙂
Whilst sitting watching the lion I noticed that the Springbuck that had drawn my notice to the lion had something moving at its feet. There lay a newly born baby Springbuck, which was struggling to get to its feet. It stood up on wobbly legs, then fell backwards. It kept on trying and managed to take a step, before falling again. It kept persisting and by the time we left it was managing to stay up and walking – resembling a drunk.
Not far from this scene we came across another mother that had a small baby suckling, then within minutes a further just born baby was at the feet of its mother. This one was still wet, and it is was a few minutes before it started to get to its feet.
Around the next corner there was a female giving birth, the baby had started to come out. It was like a memo had gone out that on the morning of the 26th of Feb you must give birth.
From this amazing sight we reached the Letiahau waterhole only to find a lioness sleeping under a bush, this time in clear view.
She was beautiful and she even got up and walked a bit before lying down again, giving us an incredible photographic opportunity.
We headed back to camp after the most amazing morning, the lions were still sleeping where we had left them and we saw plenty more general game and raptors.
More was still to come……