The rains of January were not matched by those in February and with the return of sunnier days and the attention of grazing animals, the green flush has faltered, although not before the herbivores of this area have enjoyed a bounty. As the rainwater pools have started to dry up, Andersson’s waterhole has assumed a new importance as one of the few reliable sources of water for some distance. Even in the heat of the day the dust on the ground is stirred into eddies by the fluttering wings of nervous doves alighting at the water’s edge. There were still some rain showers in February, when temperatures were pleasantly lowered by cool breezes.
As well as the flighty doves, the waterhole attracted some perhaps less beautiful but even more endearing drinkers. Warthogs have a face that only a mother could love, but they have attitude that often steals guests’ hearts – and the Andersson’s warthogs are no exception!
Warthogs usually time their mating so as to give birth just after the start of the rain season and true to form we have two mothers who have been frequenting the waterhole with their young piglets. Although blessed with a sizzling turn of speed, the piglets always wisely stay close to their mothers. As well as water, the pigs also come in search of mud to roll in to help cool down, also to provide a protective layer on their skin against the attentions of biting insects. The piglets are novices at this, but watching them squeal in delight as they learn the joy of mud and defeat porcine blues with ooze, has been a delight for all of us.
Black rhino visit almost nightly now and they are gradually getting more used to the hide and to occasional movements within it. This makes the hide more and more the place from which to observe these magnificent if ponderous creatures… After all, if you are notoriously short-sighted (and short-tempered) the absence of daylight really doesn’t make too much difference to your drinking habits.
And of course, wildlife is not just the larger mammals. Some of the most compelling sightings involve much smaller living things, such as watching a red-eyed bulbul chasing a grasshopper. Normally this would be a quick snack for the bird, but this grasshopper was keeping ahead by leaps and bounds. Each time the bulbul caught up with the grasshopper he would peck at it and cause more damage, until finally it what must have been a lucky move (or was it intended?) the grasshopper jumped towards the watching staff while the bird, suddenly feeling uncomfortable, flew off to sulk hungrily in a nearby tree.
Although there may be no love lost between bulbuls and grasshoppers, February is nonetheless the month of romance and here at Andersson’s we got into the mood, surprising guests with a bottle of champagne on their return to their tents after a romantic dinner.
Namibia is diverse, not only landscape but also culture. Andersson’s is not very different. A wonderful tradition was started by Rosalia. When the staff sing their songs, they also wear traditional clothes and dresses. The smiles and surprised faces of the guests are very rewarding for all. And even more rewarding is when the guests dance with the staff. We are sure the staff will carry on with this tradition and show off their beautiful dresses for years to come.