The Cunning Black-backed Jackal!

Black-backed Jackal
The haunting call of the Black-backed Jackal can often be heard at nightfall in the African bush and is one of the typical night sounds of the wilderness. Not being very active creatures by day, you will rarely spot them around the reserve, but we were lucky. One of our guests, who was bird-watching, caught sight of this Jackal moving around in search of food.

Black-backed Jackals are hunters with a strong sense of smell and will roam around scavenging the remains of kills made by other larger predators. Once food is located, they will alert the rest of the pack. Being protective by nature, a mother jackal will change den sites every two weeks to protect her pups from predators. They are very cautious so their dens have multiple exits, in case of an emergency. This is also what makes them elusive and rare to spot.

Often perceived to be scavengers, Jackals are very capable hunters and can live up to 12 years because of their cunning and adaptability. Forming one of the keystone species, they play a vital role in our Eco system.

Can you spot a Black-backed Jackal on your next game drive? Keep your binoculars in hand, you never know!

Watch nature come alive this Spring

Bird perched on a reed

Bird perched on a reed

Spring is the season of rejuvenation and regrowth and we have to admit that it is by far the most fascinating season. It’s when we get to witness the beauty of nature unfold right before our eyes.

Trees that looked virtually dead weeks ago are starting to turn green and branches that were once bare are in bloom. The fresh crisp air and the sweet aroma of new blossoms are all around the lodge as flowers wake up from their winter naps revealing the magnificent beauty of the reserve.

With spring also comes more daylight and warmth, and for our wildlife it means that there is an abundance of food available for grazing. It is also a time of the year when we see many new-born animals enjoying all that the season has to offer.

Trees turn into broadcasting sites for our birdlife as they chirp and whistle in order to attract a mate. One of the most wonderful things here at the lodge is waking up each morning to the sounds of various birdlife chirping, and the soft fluttering of wings as they busily go about building their nests for summer which is their mating season.

The untainted beauty that Spring brings is pure perfection and we are so glad to be part of it all.

Acacia tree starts to bloom

Acacia tree starts to bloom

Flowers in bloom

Flowers in bloom

Kudu grazing on green shubbery

Kudu grazing on green shubbery

Giraffe mum & calf

Giraffe mum & calf

Birds of Nambiti

Birds of Nambiti

The untamed beauty of Nambiti Hills

From guided walks to 4×4 adventures and diverse wildlife, there is something for the whole family to enjoy. This is a snapshot of the untamed beauty of Nambiti Hills!

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King of the Nambiti reserve

King of the Nambiti reserve

A giraffe chewing on a bone for calcium

A giraffe chewing on a bone for calcium

A member of the elephant herd

A member of the elephant herd

A lioness rolls around in dung to mask her scent

A lioness rolls around in dung to mask her scent

Twilight skies

Twilight skies

“River Horses” at the river bank!

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Nambiti Hills is home to an array of wonderful species of wildlife. Among them is the hippo, which is the third largest land mammal, after elephants and white rhinos. Recently, while out on a game drive we drove past the watering hole and heard the bellowing and snorting of a hippo. Curiously, we got a little closer and spotted this male hippo (pictured above) submerged in water with an open-mouthed “yawn” which revealed his long, razor-sharp incisors and tusk-like canines. Wondering what caused his agitation, we noticed another hippo nearby. Male hippos are extremely territorial and will defend their space when in water, so we understood that this male was simply warning his neighbour to keep his distance.

More often than not, hippos remain immersed in water for the best part of the day – justifying the Greeks naming them “river horses.” While they gracefully gallop along river bottoms, they are a little sluggish when out of the water, although they can run up to speeds of about 48kph. By night, hippos can eat up to 40kgs of several grass species. This is about half as much as other hooved mammals eat but because of their sedentary lifestyle, hippos don’t require much energy.

So the next time you visit Nambiti Hills, spend a few extra minutes observing the behaviour of our hippos and you will be amazed at what you see and learn!

Hippo

Hippo

Danger around the bend

A lioness hot in the tracks of a kudu

A lioness hot in the tracks of a kudu


Our game drive adventures, here at Nambiti Hills, are nothing short of surprising, on a very good day.

Last week, we were on an afternoon drive with some really excited first time guests. They were on full alert as we ventured deep into the wilderness in our new game viewers, which arrived last week. Wildlife-spotting is always a spectacular experience and this was extra special for them.

We were eagerly driving along, engine purring, and guests in tow. As we rounded a bend, we suddenly saw a herd of kudu intensely leap from the bushes, running for all their might. Hot in their tracks was a determined lioness with hunger in her eyes and power in every stride. It was breath-taking to watch nature at work.

She singled out a young kudu fleeing . Within seconds, the kudu had sprinted across the path with the lioness closing the distance. The two animals disappeared into the nearby bushes leaving us in silence and curious as to what will happen. Just as we had begun predicting the kudu’s fate, we saw it spring back across the path and flee toward safety – a great escape! The lioness, exhausted from her sprint, aborted the hunt to catch her breath and rest under the shade of a tree. We all sighed a breath of relief after witnessing such an intense scene.

That’s the amazing thing about Nambiti Hills, you never know what could happen around the next bend!