The elusive animal behind the ‘whoop’ call in the evenings at Kuthengo Camp finally revealed itself to a Robin Pope Safaris’ guide.
Guests at Kuthengo Camp in Liwonde National Park, the newest member of the Robin Pope Safaris family, have been enjoying spectacular sunsets over the Shire River. Every evening, as guests were sipping on sundowners and chatting about the days’ safari around the campfire, a ‘whooping’ noise would hush all the chatter as people then listened out for any further calls.
This call or ‘whoop’ is a very loud and musical call that often starts with a very low tone and is then modulated up and down in pitch. The whoop belongs to the hyena and is a distance communication call, which is used to announce their presence when they are out of visual contact. Amazingly, each hyena has a distinct whoop that other hyenas can identify.
Guides Jason and Steegan were often waking up to find hyena spoor around the camp, which although a little unnerving, was exciting to know that wildlife was coming so close to camp. While on a late afternoon game drive, Jason witnessed something that no other guest or staff member at Kuthengo had witnessed.
He saw a lone male hyena taking a nap on the side of the road, which he was sure was the face belonging to that evening call heard around the camp. The hyena has been named Hazen and, if he decides to stick around, future guests might just catch a glimpse of him.