We found some of our great and small water-loving creatures appreciating the puddles that filled the roads after heavy rains, and sat back to enjoy the best road-block in the world!
One member of the Big 5 and one member of the Little 5 – brought together by the precious Pula! A young elephant thoroughly enjoyed a wet road crossing and took full advantage of the opportunity to splash around – his character shining through and reminding us why elephants are some of the most entertaining animals to watch.
Next up was the leopard tortoise! This little reptile has a beautiful, patterned shell, which resembles the rosetted pelt of a leopard. They are also known to love the water and we see them the most after good rainfall, and unlike other tortoises, the leopard tortoise appears to like the water, and have been known to stay under water for up to 10 minutes. This little guy had picked the wettest part of the road to cross, so we would have to agree!
From the leopard tortoise, to its namesake, the leopard; we were treated to another unforgettable sighting of this sleek cat chilling out in a tree. This cat’s tracks were spotted in the sand, and he was soon found curled up comfortably in the branches where he surveyed the surroundings and kept an eye on us from a distance.
The cats led to the dogs, and soon Ghoha Hills became the location of another endangered predator – African wild dogs! The African wild dog is a nomadic carnivore that is only sedentary during its denning period, which occurs at this time of year, and gives us some great opportunities to see these painted wolves. Being co-operative breeders means that the entire pack will help to raise the pups until they are ready to resume life on the road! April and May signify the end of the impala rut, so the denning period of the wild dog is perfectly timed with the easy access to food. During this time, impala rams are exhausted from mating and they roam the bushveld with waning stamina and little energy, therefore becoming weak and vulnerable prey for predators and an easy take-out meal for the wild dogs.