• Wildlife at Wild Dog Inn Hoedspruit

APRIL 2020

Posted by Vicky and Henro on Sun April 12, 2020 in 2020 BLOG.

Dear all !

March has been extremely busy at Wild Dog Inn. We now find ourselves in April which will be largely dedicated to further uplifting and altering our bushveld paradise to ultimately provide the best bushveld experience to guests and achieve the dynamic end results.

On the 4th of March preceding our first guests, we had to work around the clock to get everything ready and swiftly attend to the adjustments.

Both cottages were transformed with our own style and unique touch. Freshening and uplifting the set-up with new linen, lamp fixtures, décor and furniture. It was time for a new look, but we kept to a simple African style. Some more alterations are in process as I write this article and we are very excited to meet new people and welcome more guests.

With the lockdown period bringing us all to a hold, we spent most of our time on the patio overlooking the beautiful bushveld and waterhole searching for inspiring camera shots to share with you.

We captured some beautiful wildlife shots of various animals and in particular, the warthogs who have been frequent visitors. Warthogs are day animals and spend most of their time looking for food. They are normally found in family groups. Females have a practice of abandoning their young. Before giving birth to a new litter, the female will chase away the young she has been raising and goes into isolation. Litter sizes are usually confined to four young because females only have four teats. These abandoned juveniles may join up with another solitary female for a short time before they go out on their own. The female suckles the new litter, and each piglet has its own teat.

Mothers like to hang-out, you will regularly see females together in one grouping of warthogs. With their bottoms in the air pads on their wrists formed in the fetus so that is how important it is to have these pads in order for a warthog to bend down on its wrists joints. Warthogs are really bizarre looking especially when you see their skull it is completely elongated at the front and it's a very large head. Warthogs are small animals their skulls are very heavy - total length is 400mm and it has two sets of tusks not just one, they have tusks on their upper and lower jaw and teeth as well that is allot of weight warthogs carry on their head. And when the sun starts to set you will find that the warthogs quickly disappear insight, they know they are a delicacy for many predators they cannot risk roaming around at night time.

With temperatures that dropped from 37° to 20° and some soft rain that started to fall it was precious to see a group huddle together and take a nap. We got a glimpse of a very old adult boar with massive tusks who visited two consecutive days. He was very alert and aggressive, but we managed to get some amazing shots of him before he disappeared into the bushes.

The Warthog is one of the most loved creatures, immortalised in Hollywood movies such as The Lion King - and also one of the best loved prey of the African savannah.
Warthogs can survive for months without water therefore it’s a pleasure seeing they come for their daily drink at our waterhole. 

While appreciating another sublime bush sunset, we spotted an African Barred Owlet. There is a pair that visits our garden water feature regularly as it attempts it’s daily bathes which is in their nature. It has taken a few attempts to get this rare bird focussed in the lens as it reacts easily to any sudden movements and flees.

 

These birds are active mostly at night. Sometimes mobbed intensely by small birds. Roots among foliage of trees, sometimes near a nest, or in hole, and has been spotted staying together with a squirrel. In this case we spotted this particular Barred Owlet interacting in a playful manner with two squirrels 🐿 in the tree.

They have two call types; the first an advertising call which can be heard for long periods, even during daytime. The second call associated with social interaction.

Looking forward to share more wildlife sightings!

Best Wishes to all! 🦉