Wattled Cranes and Hippos at Four Pans
Four Pans is in pristine condition from all the rain we have had and it is definitely one of the most picturesque areas at Shinde. This week Bonolo and Relax visited the pans with their guests on separate occasions and they both had great sightings.
Bonolo spotted a pair of Wattled Cranes walking and feeding in the shallows. This type of habitat is ideal for cranes and although these birds are on the list of endangered species, their numbers are flourishing in the Delta. Wattled Cranes feed on roots, tubers, bulbs of grasses and rhizomes which grow in shallow water. The birds nest on the flood plains where they only lay one or two eggs at a time but generally one chick hatches and is raised per breeding attempt. Wattled cranes are monogamous and pair for life.
Relax was on a morning Drive with his guests when they came across this pod of hippo sunning themselves at the pan, a very rare an unusual site to see so many of these animals exposed during the day!
Solly was on a night drive with his guests, it was drizzling and it seemed as though the game were all taking shelter as it was a quiet night. From a distance, Solly saw a pair of eyes glistening through the bush, "As we were busy maneuvering the Shinde grassland and bushes suddenly I saw bright eyes showing from a distance. I went close to check what it was and to my surprise it was the African Civet. This is one of the rare sightings I have seen in my entire fifteen years in the bush, it is only the second time I have seen it" I managed to get a blurry picture as the animals are very shy and it scampered off into the bush as we approached'
Shinde's largest male leopard.
There is a common male leopard which we see around the concession, this male leopard is 15 years old and we see him often. It has been in the Shinde area for its entire life life.I have seen it make kills and drag the carcus up the tree however recently when this leopard kills we have seen it feeding on the ground, perhaps because of its age, the leopard has lost its claw mark grip and as a result isn't able to climb trees. - Bee (professional guide at Shinde)
Stories and Images by Bee, Relax, Bonolo and Solly ( All professional guides at Shinde)