It seems appropriate to start off the newsletter this month with an interesting fact about the African elephant: on average, an elephant’s trunk is made up of 100 000 different muscles. All these muscles are put to good use for breathing, smelling, drinking, communicating and nimbly picking things up. A skill that Shirini, one of our elephants, puts to good use, often picking up guests hats and sunglasses in return for a tasty treat!
Another member of the herd, pregnant Kitty, is well on her way to her due date and by the time the new addition arrives Kitty will have been carrying the calf for almost 22 months. It is estimated that when the calf is born he or she will already weigh a staggering 200 pounds.
July has not been as cold as in previous years, although the hot water bottles have certainly been welcomed by all of our guests. Cold weather has not deterred our adventurous guests from spending the evening under the stars on our star bed and families have made the most of snuggling in close while enjoying the sights and sounds of Botswana by evening.
July sees the inundation at its highest and the leaves are noticeably beginning to fall. With this, visibility improves as the grasses tend to be shorter. A contrast from the warm sunny days, night-time brings with it a significant dip in temperature which is in a way a relief from the heat of the day. Trips on the boat requires an extra layer in the afternoon to keep guests warm whilst gracefully weaving in and out of the gentle channels of the Delta. Mokoro trips, with or without the elephants, are still very much enjoyed. Breakfast time around the camp fire provides great photo opportunities for softly lit scenes of the bush slowly waking up to a new day.
We welcome our new guide BT this month who has been enjoying spending time with guests and walking with the elephants. His sightings, together with fellow guide Taps, have included a fantastic viewing of a leopard with her two cubs and an amazing sighting at the hyaena den including lion, hyaena and a leopard in the tree. Wild elephants have also been in and around the camp quite frequently allowing our guests to enjoy their breakfasts or lunches with the added benefit of seeing these majestic animals wading through the water in front of camp while enjoying the lush grasses and sedges kept green by the wondrous floods.
On a birding front we had an incredible sighting while having drinks around the fire one evening. A Verreaux’s eagle-owl (one of the largest owls in Africa) caught a roosting dove right above our heads in a fig tree, and then silently flew off with its quarry into the night sky, leaving us in awe of how it had firstly found its prey, and secondly how it managed to get it through the branches and thick foliage of the tree.
Until next month, all the best from the Abu herd.
Staff in Camp
Managers: Liz, Ipeleng, Nathan and Claire
Guides: KG, KB and BT.