From spotting plenty of elephants and lions to witnessing brown hyenas and a rare aardwolf, the recent sightings at Jaci’s Safari Lodge have been simply spectacular. So much so, that we need an infographic to show them all!
Having received over 108mm of rain over a brief 2-week period, the bush around Jaci’s Safari Lodge is thick, lush and green. It’s amazing how after even just a few millimetres of rain, the dry savagery of Madikwe is replaced by a lush green carpet of devil thorns, wildflowers and grasses sprouting from nowhere. Whilst it’s great for the reserve, it can make life tough for the guides. Certain parts of the reserve are closed after big rains because of the sensitive nature of the soils, and the thicker vegetation obviously means animals are harder to spot.
The accompanying sighting statistics are based on the number of sightings over the month of March 2018 as recorded over 223 drives at Jaci’s Lodges. From the plentiful zebra to the once-in-a-lifetime Aardwolf spotting, these stats make for an interesting read! As far as the predator sightings go, lions are the most common large predator. The local eastern pride of lions had a very successful week and managed to kill a zebra and a kudu. They were joined by the two dominant males at the kudu kill, which was only about 3 minutes’ drive from the lodge.
The cheetahs were also very well represented. Most of the cheetah sightings comprised of two of the recently released females, who are doing fantastically well since their release onto the reserve in December. A coalition of two males has also been seen recently in the northeast of the reserve.
March also saw a great elephant and white rhino sightings, but fewer black rhino sightings. The buffalo herds were also seen very infrequently, but this is probably due to them spending a lot of time in the inaccessible areas where the soils are comprised of clay and are a huge attractant to the buffalo herds. The special antelope species were well represented though with sightings of Eland, Klipspringer, and Red Hartebeest.
Madikwe Game Reserve is traditional Big 5 territory, but their official Top 10 List of animal species includes the following: Lion, Buffalo, Leopard, Elephant, (Black & White) Rhino, Hippo, Giraffe, African Wild Dog, Cheetah, (Brown & Spotted) Hyena. Of these, the African Wild Dog, cheetah and rhino are considered the most endangered and of course the notorious aardwolf is one of the rarest of the rare to spot, but Jaci’s Lodges was lucky enough to have a sighting this month!