Weather and Landscape
December treated us to some much-needed and anticipated rainfall! The skies were often filled with heavy clouds and flashes of lightning, effectively ending the dry and hot days. A total of 218 mm of rain fell this month and we hope the next few months will further bless us with rain.
The vegetation has sprung into life and is thriving, producing a beautiful spectrum of colour, with the trees adding a mass of green and the various wild flowers adding yellows, purples and reds.
Sightings this month have been spectacular as there is wildlife all over, most animals also having young now as well.
Mid-month was characterised by the local lions killing buffalo on a daily basis, and on one occasion three kills were made just metres apart. The elephants have moved off into the woodlands and all of the herbivore species have dispersed widely over the concession as there is lots of surface water all around.
A small herd of kudu have taken a liking to the camp area and are seen on a daily basis, especially when there is little movement of people around camp. We were pleasantly surprised one afternoon to have two herds of sable come to drink from the waterhole in front of camp at the same time, just after siesta – much to the delight of everyone in camp.
As a follow-up to our report on the lioness that was badly injured fighting with hyaena last month, our guide Livingstone later reported having seen her with her cubs. To everyone’s surprise she has survived her wounds, defying all odds; the guides had all written her off due to the extent of her injuries. Initially the guides saw the cubs alone with a sub-adult (probably their sister) and thought that their worst fears had been confirmed, and were amazed later in the month to see the whole family together on a buffalo kill, with the mother almost fully recovered except for a hanging ear which had not quite healed.
The highlight for the month was the sighting of a caracal, two leopard and two cheetah on Christmas Day. On one occasion, one of our guides found a half-eaten stork, and he was puzzled as to what had fed off the large bird. All became clear at the end of the month when he found a female leopard and her cub feeding off another stork.
Birds and Birding
Bird sightings have been really good this month as all of the summer migrants have now arrived. There are now many steppe eagles, yellow-billed kites, lesser-spotted eagles and a variety of kestrels and falcons all over the concession.
White storks are all over the concession and Abdim's storks and woolly-necked storks have been seen often.
“We loved the dinner at our tent – was so special and thoughtful and we loved seeing the bat-eared fox. In general the staff have been a huge highlight as they all have been amazing – you can be very proud of their achievement as it makes a remarkable difference to the stay.”
“The buffalo kill by the lions was amazing and so was the sundowner with the hippos. Great guide, great staff A+.”
“Everything at Davison’s Camp is outstanding. Seeing the camp, and meeting with the lovely staff. Very friendly staff with nice smiles!”
Staff in Camp
Guides: Livingstone and Godfrey