A Snake Raids a Bird’s Nest – And Later We are Serenaded at Dinner! …

Dawie’s News from Ta Sebube Lodge on the Kgalagadi Photo Safari:

Our day started with a visit to the Cape Fox Den. Although we really hoped that the little pups would be playing outside, luck abandoned us there. The little ones were possibly having a lie-in or were resting for whatever reason. They did not appear while we waited, but we spent a great time with some of the adults.

Next we wanted to practice panning shots, and Oryx and Wildebeest obliged us by running around so that we could get those images. There were many raptors around during our drive and we photographed them, concentrating on Tawny Eagles and Pale Chanting Goshawks.

Stopping again and again to photograph the different animals and birds we finally arrived at the remains of the Caracal Kill. We searched around carefully, but there was no sign of the Caracal. But some Black-backed Jackals lay close by. They were completely stuffed! They had eaten really well and may have chased the cat away at some stage.

At a nearby waterhole we spotted very fresh lion tracks and followed these. It didn’t us long to find a beautiful, large, healthy Black-maned Lion. He was just across the river and looked quite magnificent as he rested in the shade.

Some Bat-eared Foxes were next, and we had a lovely time with them as they foraged around in the ground and around shrubs for food. They always look so adorable with their huge, disproportionate ears.

On the way back to the Lodge we stopped again. The first stop was for a very entertaining Ostrich that kicked up a huge amount of dust as he dust-bathed. The second stop was for another male Lion sleeping less than a kilometre from the Lodge.

We took a quick drive to refuel our vehicles, and what a lucky detour that was. We heard a huge commotion coming from a tree and saw that the Sociable Weavers that have a nest in that tree were really perturbed about something. They put up a huge fuss. Then we saw why – a Cape Cobra slithered along and entered the nest, to the consternation of the birds – they went crazy! We didn’t see the snake emerge again, so it must have found what it wanted inside.

When we left the Lodge for our afternoon game drive we stopped at the young male Lion first. He was still fast asleep. We continued to the other male Lion, hoping that he would be active and possibly close to the road. He was awake and this time he had the company of two lionesses, but they remained on the far side of the river.

We turned back for a slow drive to the Lodge. A Pale Chanting Goshawk caught our attention. He was hunting and had his eye on a mongoose, and when he swooped for the catch, we thought for just a second that he had been successful. But no, the mongoose escaped the talons.

Then some Crowned Lapwings entertained us for a longish time. The were doing two things at the same time, and seemed unsure whether to concentrate on harassing a Tawny Eagle or to forage and dig around for ants. They continued to alternate between the two activities, or tried to do both at once.

Well, we thought, what an interesting day, as we arrived back at the Lodge. But in the driveway a final show for the day awaited us. The young male Lion was there, and with the blue sky behind him our shots as he strolled along, sat down, looked at us and then carried on again, were a gift. And that was not all! He serenaded us all through dinner as he walked back and forth past the front of the Lodge. The sounds and sight were a phenomenal end to yet another remarkable day.

We plan to search for the Lion again at first light …