Tag Archives: Botswana

Hyenas store their food in the potty pool

Hyenas seem to love water. They use it for a nice cool bath, as a toilet, but also to store food. They drag their prey into shallow ponds and may leave it there for quite some time. Theories vary on why the do this. Some say, it makes the meat nice and munchy, or to hide it from competitors. Could be true. Cats don’t like water, but they do not eat hyena leftovers either, most of the time. It is a good way to keep the vultures away. They might smell the food, but can’t get to it in the water. Crocodiles might be a problem though. The hyenas who took over this pond checked it out. They return to it every afternoon, to lounge and to store their food in the potty pool…

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Stay put in the buffalo fortress


Some guides will tell you, buffalos are not very intelligent and have a very bad memory. True or not, they seem to know how to put up a defense against predators. Of course they use their horns and a well placed kick can be deadly for a lion. But even before it comes to that, they have all kinds of defense tactics to protect themselves. This segment of a Phanhabs illustrations shows buffalos on the Duba Plains in Botswana. They have been attacked by the famous Duba lions for years and have practice their defence. They use natural indentions in the landscapes to rest. Females, young and weak animals are put into the center of the group and the big old bulls will stay on the outside. In case soon predators attack, the “dugga boys” will fend them off. The rest will stay put in the buffalo fortress…

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Food runs from the wild dog

Wild dogs are amazing animals, very social and real team players. They care for each other when wounded, something not many predators do. Last year in Mombo, we met the famous alpha-female who teamed up with jackals, after her pack was killed by competitors.  They are also fierce hunters. The first time we saw them was fifteen years ago in Savuti, Botswana. A pack of thirteen dogs managed to hunt, kill and eat an impala within ten minutes. When I made the illustrations for Phanhabs, I was reluctant to put wild dogs into the scene. The concept of Phanhabs demands many animals in one picture, but with wild dogs this is not very realistic. When looking for the dogs on a safari, it is often a good sign that they are around, when the area is devoid of other animals. Especially small antelopes do not take chances. With lions they might risk a group-staring-contest, but food runs from the wild dog…

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Duba lions outsmarted by buffalo

The lion pictures for this illustration were taken in 2009 at Duba Plains, in the Okavango Delta. By then the famous Duba Boys had split up and the remaining lions were struggling to “form a new team”.  In the meantime the buffalos were often winning. They had practiced their defence tactics for years.

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Picture Story: 13 Lucky Lions and a Cheeky Leopard

Near the Savuti Channel in Botswana, we witnessed a family of 13 lions having a feast over a giraffe. Not a pretty sight, or smell. Then a leopard appeared on the scene. Wrong place, wrong time. He was chased into a tree in no time.

There he was, trapped and hoping for the lions to move off. In the end he got a chance to sneak away. Most of the scene was not “children’s book material”. I did use some of the images in Phanhabs Lush Bush, to illustrate that in the bush every animal has it’s part in the food-chain. Eat and be eaten…

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