February update: A pack of wild dogs was released
While we are still in the middle of the rainy season, the month of February was a bit too dry for our nature and the animals. On the other hand our guests enjoyed many sunny days, magnificent sunsets and extraordinary highlights on safaris. The focus was on the release of a second pack of wild dogs in Madikwe. Welcome to our monthly report from the bush.
Madikwe Game Reserve has been known since beginning as the "home of the wild dogs". This dangerous predator animal with the beautiful brown-black fur is still one of the most endangered animals in Africa.
Good to know that in the middle of last month, a second wild dog pack – the so-called “northern pack” - was successfully released in the reserve and now has its home there. The animals, all males, are originally from the Natal region and were transported to Madikwe last December. They became accustomed to the new environment in a sheltered boma and were bonded with some of the females that were already living in the park.
So, there are now two packs roaming in Madikwe. This will ensure the long-term, sustainable presence of wild dogs in Madikwe and at the same time it will increase the chance for our guests to see this rare animal in their natural habitat.
Beside this highlight our statistics reveal other extraordinary occurrences. Elephants, as always, were the most common animals of the Big 5. The hit rate was 93% of all game drives. For the first time we saw more white rhinos (69%, which is a record) than lions (56%), and we found black rhino (17%) more often than leopards (15%). This is mainly because a young, male black rhino has its territory near our lodge, and this animal is very relaxed (read more about this rhino here)
In Madikwe Reserve we are allowed to drive around at night. In February we found rare nocturnal animals. One evening, we met a honey badger, and several times we observed a genet sitting on a tree and cleaning itself.