For a whole week this month we were blessed with a fog that brought the rains at last, and a welcome drop in temperature from a high of 35°C (100°F). The night sky was rent asunder by forked lightning and the thunder rumbled like rolling stones across the desert floor. The afternoon winds soothed our brows and the sand was pitted with the craters caused by the falling rain, creating a lunar landscape in miniature. Fog, wind and rain – perhaps not the weather that everyone would wish for but here in Damaraland, so-called bad weather means life, another year that the rains have not failed, and that there will be water and food for the wildlife.
With the coming of the rains, the desert-adapted elephants have started to move out of the riverbeds and further afield, into the mountains, meaning that we have been taking full-day excursions to track them down. But it has been worth it, with the largest sighting being that of a herd of ten elephants with three calves. For the youngsters there is much to learn; some of our guests enjoyed a delightful sighting of a mother teaching her young calf how to peel nutritious bark from a tree.
Three pairs of rare animals proved to be the highlights this month: two healthy cheetah spotted in the riverbed, a pair of nocturnal brown hyaena unconcernedly going about their business, and lastly two young bull rhino. The first of these was startled by the appearance of humans and moved off, but careful driving by the guides allowed guests to have a wonderful close encounter with the second of these magnificent beasts.
We have also seen gemsbok, springbok, kudu, steenbok, ostrich, Hartmann’s mountain zebra, black-backed jackal, giraffe, and even scorpions.
And of course it is not just mammals we share Damaraland with: keen birdwatchers were able to spot the rare mouse form of the mountain chat, and also sabota lark, black-chested snake-eagle and Benguela long-billed lark.
While we may have had some life-giving rain in February, most days were notable for long hours of sunshine which makes our camp a perfect candidate for solar energy. Technicians visited Damaraland Camp during February to scientifically assess the potential and we are confident that once the additional panels have been installed, we will be able to further reduce our generator usage, and enjoy Damaraland Camp with an even lighter footprint as with our guests we explore this wonderful, unique corner of Africa.
“The genuine care, concern and attentiveness left us breathless” Morwenna & Simon
“I would recommend the camp based on the high quality and carry service/staff” Caryln
“The room was stunning, the service was perfect” Arnaud & Laehhè
“Loved the bush lunch in the riverbed!!” Court
In Camp this month
We were very happy to welcome Thereza from Desert Rhino Camp who joined us during February and we wished Sima well as he embarked on a new adventure as a lecturer at Windhoek Polytechnic.
Managers: Maggie, Helen, Willem, Alfonso, Sima, Thereza
Guides: Charles, Emanual, Dawid, Epi