30 November 2022
Madikwe received high rainfall over October so November was met with a very lush and green Kalahari bush veld. The rainfall for the year is sitting already over 300 mm with more rain predicted. This brought welcome relive to many of the inhabitants of Madikwe. The central plains not long ago laid bare, with some areas overgrown with the invasive Datura stramonium now completely covered in natural flowers, herbs and grasses. Even the Derdepoort plains in the north eastern part of the park once with no grass cover now covered in a blanket of green grass. Plant succession unfortunately takes a long time, but it will be worth the wait.
Because of the availability of water sightings of elephants playing in the water has been a common sight. The presence of elephant in the ecosystem is very important for the diversity and survival of many species. Elephants opening game paths for animals much smaller to reach the water and many of these now watering holes merely started with a single elephant foot print. Zebra, wildebeest, impala, warthog, giraffe, springbuck can often be seen feeding together on the plains. Plains game sightings has been very good and Madikwe has proofed again that the quality and diversity of species are very high.
The wild dog of Madikwe has been doing well with the Bates pack consisting of 12 adult dogs and assumed 8 pups. The Ngolothi pack consisted of 8 adults and 8 pups. Historically wild dog’s numbers in Africa have been volatile. And Madikwe is no exception as both of our packs has lost some members due to natural causes. But the African wild dog has proven itself to be a tenacious and resilient specie.
Madikwe cheetah has been doing well. Savanna Madikwe’s female has recovered well after breaking her leg and we expect to see her soon again. Savanna’s two daughters are looking good after leaving their mother a year ago. They are the first surviving cheetah cubs in Madikwe in many years which is an indication of what a great mother Savanna is. The two Punda males are still patrolling large territories in Madikwe with the younger Ashia male not challenging yet.
Lions in the east of Madikwe has been very stable with Kagiso and Binolo and their 3 juvenile cubs seen a lot around the plains area. Kwena and Tsala and their 2 sub adult cubs favouring the eastern boundary along the river. And last but not least Lesego and her daughter less seen as always around Mateya towards ambush alley then all the way to Tlou dam in the west. The two Mahiwe brothers are still controlling large territories in the east but for the first time in almost 4 years have had competition arriving from the west in the form of Kwandwe and Bolekega males.
For our birding guest it is summer and large amount of all size and shape of bird can be found. With recourses being at its highest large amount of bird life can be found around the plains, watering holes and natural pans.
Diversity in like no other and it is a formidable time to be in Madikwe.
We hope to see you soon!