September saw an official weigh-in session with the Abu Herd. Cathy, our biggest and oldest elephant, weighed in at an incredible 3.9 tonnes, with our smallest and youngest elephant, Warona, weighed in at a comparatively modest 630 kg.
The reaction of each elephant getting on the scale varied (just like in humans). Cathy was the ultimate professional and glided on with no problem, whereas Warona required a bit more coaxing. Her pellet bucket was placed in the middle of the huge scale and to our amusement she tried everything she could to obtain the pellets without stepping on the shiny, slightly wobbly surface. Eventually the draw of the pellets got the better of her and she relented, allowing us to monitor her growth and progress. She is doing well and getting heavier by the day.
Kitty is now officially on maternity leave, which means that we can now accommodate a total of four riders and six walkers. The excitement of the imminent arrival of the latest addition to the herd is mounting and everyone at Abu simply cannot wait!
Winter has come to an end and the temperatures have slowly been creeping up, meaning that mud wallows for the elephants have been plentiful. The benefits of mud wallowing (aside from it being lots of fun) include a cooling effect on the elephant’s body temperature while the mud also acts as a form of sun protection and helps soothe areas where the elephant may have been bitten by insects. The herd can be unpredictable in terms of when they decide they want to go for a mud wallow, so their vigilant elephant handlers make sure that as soon as they show signs of going to a particular place, they radio camp so the guests are able to rush to the sighting and enjoy the show.
The water has dried up significantly and therefore fishing has been restricted to the lagoon in front of camp. Mokoro rides, as ever, are proving popular with guests with plenty of lovely sightings of painted reed frogs, hippo, wild elephant and buffalo.
Other sightings this month have featured leopard (including one in camp!) and lion that could be heard calling, which is always a thrilling sound. Now is a good time for lion to feast and being prey this month has been fairly hard going!
It’s refreshing to see the first green shoots emerging from some of the trees and we look forward to seeing the return of the carmine bee-eaters.
Until next month, all the best from the Abu herd.
Managers in Camp: Liz, Ipeleng, Nathan and Claire
Guides: Thaps, BT and KB