October, it’s known as the hottest and most barren month for the Central Kalahari region with stifling berg winds and intense midday temperatures. The severity of the conditions was building up for the upcoming rainy season which will bring welcome relief to the desert animals.
Black-Maned Lions of Tau Pan
The alliance of six spectacular black-maned male lions was witnessed at the camp watering hole, and our guests were frequently serenaded with a grand roaring performance during the night. As the dry season continued, predators’ home distance grew in size as the animals would have to journey further and further to find food. This meant that we saw new diverse people that were new to the area and who were not part of the Tau Pan Pride.
A nomadic lioness and cub were quenching their thirst at the watering hole. They were markedly unrecognisable with the safari vehicle than our resident lions, growling and snarling quite aggressively. Another new lioness and two young males were seen on our northern fire break, as well as towards the airstrip.
Pipers Pan & Cheetah Sightings
Piper’s Pan is an extraordinary stretch of perfectly flat grass located a few kilometres across. When wet this area is difficult to access but is deemed very productive in the dry season.
We located two male cheetahs in October; the giant felines were resting under a bush, plus another female cheetah at San Pan. There were many wildebeest, red hartebeest, Oryx and a different pride of lions at Piper’s Pan.
As usual, the desert gifted us with an excellent opportunity to witness some of the smaller predators. Honey badgers were more aggressive than usual, perhaps because there is less food in the area. Bat-eared foxes were seen often as well as the much rarer Cape Fox.
The area surrounding the rustic Tau Pan was covered in lush green following the large fire earlier in the year. The acacia trees were in flower, and other plants were starting to bloom including the pink flowers of the Devil’s Claw, Botswana’s National flower.
Cape Cobras were sighted at Phukwe Pan as well at San Pan. Both times these large golden snakes were seen hunting and tracking, hoping to come across prey species such as mice, lizards and ground squirrels.
If you're craving a full-on luxury yet rustic experience, then look no further than Tau Pan. It offers fantastic wildlife sightings that will create great memories for a lifetime.