Kalahari Plains – Ground squirrel, Bat-eared fox, Jackal, Ostrich, Bustard, Plover, Goshawk, Vulture
Despite it being the wet-season there had been no rain for about a month and wildlife was not easy to find in the area. At least none of the so-called ‘big five’ could be located. Even after the long drive to deception valley the water hole proved to be dry and there were no lions present. This was disappointing for me having not yet seen them, but the guests coming from other lodges assured me that there were plenty to be seen there. Smaller mammals seen were ground squirrel, bat-eared fox, cape fox and black-backed jackal. Finally on the last morning at dawn I did spot a leopard in a tree which was then driven down by mobbing crows.
Due to the lack of many large trees the birds were mostly ground dwelling (francolin, northern black korhaan or helicopter bird, spotted dikkop, black stork, crowned plover, great bustard, ostrich, helmeted guinea fowl) or birds of prey (pale chanting goshawk, lappet-faced vulture, cape vulture). The Pale Chanting Goshawk eats a variety of vertebrate prey, mainly lizards, but also small mammals and birds, and large insects. It often walks on the ground. We saw one catching a snake.