Going on an African safari is always the luck of the draw, however there is always something to see whilst at Leopard Lodge as the Kafue National Park has a vast diversity of game and bird life.
Guests returning from an afternoon game drive having seen Sable Antelope, Hartebeest, Wild cats, Bush Babies and White Tailed Mongoose couldn’t believe their eyes when a lioness walked through camp right past where we were having dinner.
The next day shortly after leaving the lodge on a game drive, with the same guests, we came across 3 cheetah hunting Kudus.
A cheetah by itself would not generally try take an animal the size of a fully grown Kudu, but with three of them they had a chance. We managed to watch them for about an hour; just when we thought the cheetah were going to get lucky the Kudu, moved off quickly into thick bush and cheetah gave up.
That evening back in the camp, to our guests’ disbelief, we once again saw the lioness. In our flashlight we could see her coming from our furthest Chalet. Once passed all our Chalets she turned, to our guests relief, to the parking area where she disappeared in the dark.
They weren’t the only guests to be extremely lucky and also saw lions in camp. Lions visited the camp regularly even during our next guests stay. They also had the wonderful experience on Friday evening when the monkeys and baboons went absolutely crazy, barking loudly. This was their alarm call, letting all for miles around know of an approaching danger.
We then heard the distinctive call of a leopard and we then knew why everybody was so on edge. As the leopard was calling we knew it was not hunting but communicating to other leopard. We took our open safari vehicle out and searched the area, but unfortunately we couldn’t find it or another leopard it was trying to find,
Rangers Diary 9th – 15th September 2013
Spring in the Kafue National Park
Lions have visited the lodge regularly this week visit. The Lions sometimes walked quietly through the camp and their presence only noticed by footprints in the morning. However they often draw attention to themselves by roaring as they pass through or whilst resting at different points around the lodge.
The alarm call of a puku woke me one night and with a spot light I could see a lioness close to a chalet and another lying close to our carport. Their plan to catch a puku had been ruined as the puku had discovered them in time.
Another night this week, a loud roar, very close by, got me up and I looked out of my room, but couldn’t see anything a lion must have been just down on the river bank out of sight. The following morning the tracks and vultures told the story of the nights activities.
Just meters away from our dining area down on the river bank were vultures and the carcass of a puku. From the tracks we could see that a big male lion had caught it right at our dining area and dragged it a short distance away to feast on it.
One afternoon as the guests were waiting on the deck to go fishing they saw a lion walking on the river bank walking directly towards them, they quickly retreated to the safety of the lodge.
During a bird photographic boat cruise the emphasis on the target species changed drastically as just 500m from the lodge a young male lion and lioness were spotted sleeping under a tree.
It has been a good week for lion, but we must not forget the elephants that we saw on drives, whilst canoeing and on boat cruises, as well as the big bull who spent a couple of hours feeding just outside our reception. The general game has also been plentiful on game drives.
Fishing has also been excellent and guests have found it easy pulling in a number of fish from the rich Kafue River.