Perched high on a ledge overlooking the expansive Savuti region lies the sophisticated and stylish eco-friendly lodge, Ghoha Hills.
The elevated position provides ample opportunity to view wildlife from the comfort of the lodge. There is a small waterhole in front of camp that is currently a major drawcard for lions and wild dogs. While we are used to seeing a variety of game filter down to the waterhole, the prevalence of cats and nomadic dogs seems to be high at the moment. It has become a massive highlight for us and our guests are afforded many opportunities to see rare sightings from a unique angle.
Our lion sightings include the pride of 7 lionesses together with their healthy cubs and separate sightings of a coalition of two males. These robust boys were sniffing the air for signs of potential female and were scent marking as they casually strolled down the road. Prior to that sighting we spotted the pride of 7 just relaxing around the waterhole, but clearly in search of food. A few days later they were spotted tucking into a recent buffalo kill. There’s always a feeding hierarchy at dinner time and the cubs are generally the last in the pecking order. Seems like a few of these sub-adults managed to get their fair share of the meal, without too much of a struggle.
To date, a highlight for guests at Ghoha was the opportunity to observe the attempted takedown of a buffalo by the local lion pride. A lone male buffalo wandered down to the waterhole in front of our lodge and the pride of 7 lions decided to target this individual. It was a failed attempt, but it could have gone either way. The lions took on their normal tactical formation when beginning the chase. The pride will spot the target, one lioness will stare at the prey and the others will stare in the same direction, which is their way of saying “Let’s Go. They’ll circle the prey and force it towards the lions in hiding. A pride’s tactics during the hunt can actually be likened to that of players on a sports field – you have your left, centre and wing roles! The pride had recently just devoured a buffalo kill, but were clearly on the lookout to stock up and replenish their food sources where possible.
This local pride appear quite relaxed in the presence of the vehicle and are thriving at the waterhole while hiding out in the surrounding Zambezian teak woodlands. In conjunction with the lion sightings, we’ve spotted plenty of rare African wild dogs scampering on our traverse.
A pack of wild dogs has been trotting across our landscape in search of prey and available water. Despite being nomadic and quite rare to see, the dogs have provided us with plenty of sightings close to the waterhole. Let’s hope this pack continues to enthrall us with their presence. It’s all happening here at Ghoha!
Lions and wild dogs? All in a day’s work while on safari with Ghoha Hills Savuti Lodge.