Thursday, 19 September 2013

Limpopo Lipadi: 7 - 14 September 2013 "Brown hyena awesomeness"

We were fortunate enough to visit one of our favourite places in the world for 7 nights in September, a place called Limpopo-Lipadi Private Game and Wilderness reserve... Limpopo-Lipadi is located in the Tuli-block in South Eastern Botswana.  See

Starting with our favourite mammal...the leopard!  As those who know us are aware, we initiated a leopard identification project on the reserve.  As this area is "raw", we decided it would be amazing to get to know individual leopards and the territories they roam, as well as trying to establish the population size.  We do this by collecting photographs and data from shareholders and guests visiting the reserve.  On the southern part of the reserve we already identified 16 individuals!

"Sia" approaching Mogorosi waterhole

One late afternoon we stopped at Mogorosi waterhole.  Scanning through our binoc's, we noticed a leopard approaching! She was quite skittish, and only came down to have a drink after sunset.  After investigating the photos, we came to the conclusion that this is "Sia" (meaning running away in Setswana).  She is a female which were last seen in 2010, drinking at Mbuzi waterhole.  So nice to see that she is still doing well!

"Sia" drinking after sunset

We had 4 leopard sightings in total, with one new unidentified female seen +-3km south of Mogorosi.
This brings our total leopard sightings for 2013 to 11..!!

The unidentified female, south of Mogorosi

We saw a lot of general game including impala, kudu, eland, blue wildebeest, bushbuck, zebra, gemsbok, warthog etc, as well as a few elephant bulls.  Good nocturnal species were African Civet, aardvark, black-backed jackal and a few small spotted genets.  I left my cameratrap at Mbuzi waterhole one night, only to find it lying on the ground the next day - the culprits being 4 spotted hyenas!

Before they got hold of my cameratrap!

But the sighting of the week was one afternoon in the hide at Mogorosi waterhole.

Just before sunset we saw movement approaching us from the south-east.  It was a brown hyena!  The brownie walked right past the hide, and directly into the waterhole for a bath!  After the bath it took a dust bath, ruining the bath it just took :)  After about 10 minutes of performing in front of us, it slowly disappeared into the darkness...  Limpopo-Lipadi is probably the best place in the world to see brown hyeans, as we had 3 sightings this week!

Brown hyena approaching Mogorosi

Brown Hyena after the bath

On a birding front:

Southern White-faced Owl

Highlights were the beautiful Southern White-faced Owl, Ground Hornbill, a magnificent Martial Eagle, Saddlebilled stork, and the 2 pairs of Wahlberg's Eagles returning to their nests!  Anton sat in Mbuzi waterhole's hide for a whole day, and witnessed a juvenile Gabar Goshawk catching a Red-billed Quelea!

Juvenile Gabar Goshawk

Grey-backed Camaroptera

We had a great week at LL and can't wait for our next visit!

Anton and Renate Kruger

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