Landscape, Vegetation and Weather
Our ordeal trees which have been covered in yellow are now in the process of losing their leaves, aided by the winds that have picked up. We now have a carpet of leaves on the roads and in the bush which are still fairly fresh making for good walking safaris. The bush is also being cleared by the passing elephants. The main source of food for primates and the hungry hornbills are the fruit of the rose wood.
Our morning and evenings are chilly and our camp fires are a must to keep us warm. The skies are clear with not even a single cloud above us to disturb star gazing. Beautiful constellations like Scorpius are slowly drifting off allowing for Orion to appear in the mornings.
The population of animals is increasing around the waterhole in front of the camp. Herds of elephant, eland and sable as well as zebra are always close at hand. Davison’s is probably the only camp in the world where guests are almost guaranteed of sharing their meals alongside sable!
The lions that had moved out of our concession are back and guests had the best time watching them mating near camp. The female in oestrous moved from one male to the other, possibly trying for the best gene of the coalition of brothers; which caused a fight in front of guests which was certainly something to write home about.
The herds of buffalo still remain close by, often coming to drink and grazing on the lush grass in the woodlands. With the full moon we had a chance to see the whole camp surrounded by a herd of about 200 buffalo. Their numbers are often in competition with the elephant at Ostrich Pan.
Our plains still hold a healthy population of game. The Ngamo Plains have been overgrazed and therefore the wildlife have moved closer to camp for better grazing.
As rare as it is, the pack of five wild dogs was spotted twice near the camp, hunting. Unfortunately our area has more elephant than impala and therefore the dogs are not often seen in these parts, as they move off to hunt in other areas.
Bird watchers are still in paradise here in Hwange National Park. Kori bustards are displaying once again to attract mates, always a great show to watch. The big canopies of false mopane are still the home of most birds around the camp. A pair of racket-tailed rollers are raising a single chick within the camp and it is always fantastic to see them feeding their young one.
Our ground hornbills are still struggling. In a day we were able to see three sets and only one set had a juvenile. Sadly, not a single guide has seen a nest this season. Other hornbill species are doing well in the area. Bradfield’s hornbills are very much at home at Davison’s. The yellow-billed hornbills are doing well too and are enjoying the availability of fruits and harvester termites. We seem to have received a new distribution of red-billed hornbills and a healthy population of these is often seen around the camp.
To park around the waterholes and have tea is always a great way of spotting birds. Raptors are seen flying around and swooping doves come to drink. At Back Pans more than two dozen hooded, white-backed, lappet-faced and white-headed vultures were seen one morning basking in the sun. That was a beautiful sight as they were all facing the same direction with their big wings spread.
“Seeing the rare painted dogs, the lions eating and mating, the elephant herd chasing off the lions. The sable and Impala. Seeing a Leopard in the dark.” Anna
“Loved the walking safaris, seeing lion, cheetah, loved the openness of the vehicle.” Ashley & Sierra
“The food was absolutely delicious, the staff fantastic, the game amazing but my particular highlight was the quantity of elephants at the waterhole.” The Croton family
Staff In Camp
Managers – Themba & Buhle
Assistant Manager – Eugene
Trainee Manager - Avias
Pro-guides – Themba & Peter
Learner Guides – Brian, Livingstone
Davison Team – Bernard, Bulisani, Greement, Lashani, Malaki, Mathius, Mpande, Mpindi, Nicholas, Priviledge, Sijabuliso, Sinini, Solomon, Valani, Victor, Vusa, Cosma