Arathusa Waterhole Highlights of 2022
We have been very fortunate with our waterhole sightings this year! This unique attraction has gifted our guests and staff with many memorable moments (too many for us to document), so we have highlighted some of our favourites for your enjoyment below…
1. Elephant vs hippo
There were many different herds of elephants coming through to the watering hole on this super-hot day. A lot of the bull elephants decided to take a swim in the dam, like they usually do, and we gathered to watch them playing around with each other. Eventually they moved off, but one of the bulls was in a mood and kept trying to go for the hippos in the dam. It was the first time we’ve seen an elephant actually chase the hippos. Normally they have a healthy mutual respect and keep their distance from each other. But this bull elephant was just on a rampage that day and would not back down.
2. Hyena vs lions
We noticed a pack of hyenas one evening coming to the waterhole while we were enjoying dinner on the deck. They managed to take down a big nyala bull in the water. With all the commotion going on, two very curious male lions came running in to fight off the hyenas and stole that nyala from them. Our guests had a very memorable dinner that night!
3. Tug of war between a crocodile and a pack of hyenas
In the beginning of the year, a big croc was spending a lot of time here at the waterhole. It managed to catch a big nyala bull one evening. Early the next morning, we watched a pack of hyenas go into the water and have an energetic tug of war with the crocodile and its meal. The hyenas managed to pull the crocodile out of the water with the nyala, so the croc eventually let go and retreated into the water. The pack of hyenas happily finished off the kill. It was quite an interesting interaction for our guests to watch during their morning coffee.
The crocodile subsequently left the waterhole and has relocated elsewhere.
4. Hyena chasing the warthog into the window
A hyena saw an opportunity to hunt a warthog at the waterhole. The warthog got a bit of a shock and tried to escape through the lodge. Unfortunately, it ran into one of the room windows, but luckily still managed to escape from the hyena.
All was not lost though, as the hyena later managed to bring down an impala while we were out on our afternoon drive.
5. Water monitor and lapwings
Come this time of year, the lapwings (birds) have their nests, but they are on the ground. One of the main diets of a water monitor is eggs, so we watched as the lapwings mocked and dive bombed the lizard to try get it to move off the area of where they had their eggs.
6. 3 new baby hippos
We are lucky enough to enjoy 3 new baby hippos at the waterhole, all born this year. They are only a few months now. In the evenings, we are seeing more of one of the younger babies basking on the island in front of the waterhole and lodge. These youngsters have joined the pod of 5 or 6 adult hippos that call our waterhole home.
There is never a dull moment, and the safari continues well before and after game drives!