Weather and Landscape
The temperature has been pleasant and warm during the day and cool at night. It has also been windy and dusty at times. The landscape is starting to look fresh and green, and most of the burnt areas are turning green. Animals are still easy to spot in the grasslands, though birds are slightly more difficult to see in the thick forests. We can still see the grass birds easily, however.
Game viewing has been very good with most of the animals seen close to the road. Most of the good sightings have been after sunrise and near sunset. All leopard sightings have been in the daytime, which has been very exciting! One in particular on Plantation Loop was wonderful. First, a leopard cub emerged from the ferns onto the road. She ran on the road for 50 m then dived into the ferns again the other side of the road. We stopped for a while trying to catch sight of the mother but she was not to be seen. We assumed the cub had been hidden by the mother who might have gone hunting.
Aside from this, our herbivores continued to fascinate us, from herds of zebra, roan and eland to a sounder of bushpigs that included large boars feeding. A porcupine was a great sight, as he ran along the road in front of us. Two red forest duiker chasing each other amused the guests on game drive one day.
Smaller predators for which Chelinda is known were seen, such as serval – including two crossing the road just metres away from the vehicle – as well as a number of black-backed and side-striped jackal, and a hyaena that just sat and relaxed in the grass, not at all distracted by our presence.
A green mamba crossing the road added a thrill to a game drive one day, and on another we saw a montane grass snake enjoying the sun on the road.
Birds and Birding
Birding has been very good, since we still have some migratory birds around e.g. bee-eaters, wheatears, swallows and many more. Forest birding is also still successful, though with the dry leaves on the ground our footsteps are audible from far compared to during the rainy season. We expect the rains to come any time from now.
Just some of the species we’ve seen: Baglafecht weaver, yellow-crowned canary, black-headed oriole, bar-tailed trogon, moustached green tinkerbird, olive-flanked robin, mountain thrush, Chapin’s apalis, a Temminck’s courser walking through the long grass, a northern wheatear flying across the road, spotted eagle-owl, a Rwenzori nightjar sitting on the road one night, Denham’s bustard and a peregrine falcon in flight.
‘Every drive and returning to a warm and welcoming cottage and staff’
‘Moses, Whyte and Allam were excellent and Grandson and Petros were very good in reception’
‘Nyika is the place to be’
Contributors: Whyte, Watson, Apollo, Allam, Hastings and Ellias