Weather and Landscape
Winter is swiftly tightening its grip on us as the mornings have become cold, with frost evident on some of the vegetation. Daytime highs are still comfy but once the sun dips below the horizon, the cold moves in.
Lush green leaves of the false mopane trees are still around, adding a flush of green to the drying landscape. The ordeal trees are starting to shed their leaves, with the foliage that is left being a bright yellow. The approaching winter winds will quickly strip these trees.
The elephant numbers in the area have increased substantially as the dry season continues to sap the surface water. The winter waterholes are becoming increasingly popular and Ostrich Pan has been providing outstanding game viewing. The game viewing at the camp waterhole has been diverse as well as constant. Two herds of sable have made it a ritual to drink at our waterhole during midday, and sightings of these regal antelope can almost be guaranteed. Large numbers of kudu and zebra have settled into the open plains.
This month the predatory feline sightings have increased substantially. A large female cheetah was seen and it was clear that she is pregnant owing to her swollen mammary glands and belly. We believe that she was going to give birth shortly as she was observed licking her mammary glands – a sign that she will give birth soon.
Two large male lions have moved into the area and seem to be taking over the territory as their own. They were observed scent marking and were heard vocalising on a number of nights. By the end of the month, we had seen this duo mating with five of the resident females. We have also enjoyed some excellent leopard sightings.
Walking trails have been really good this month, as all the guests who walked a trail really enjoyed it. Sightings of elephant while on trail were really good and a couple of lion sightings were enjoyed too.
Birds and Birding
A number of owl species have taken refuge in the dense canopies of the false mopane thickets and our guests in camp enjoyed daily sightings of a Verreaux's eagle-owl. Pearl-spotted owlet and African scops-owl were also heard from the camp.
Arnot’s chats have returned to the area and we have had a number of great sightings. For the past couple of years, a pair has nested around the camp area and we are thrilled to announce that they have chosen the camp area as their nesting area again.
The resident ostrich family has left the camp area, most likely owing to the high lion presence which we have experienced this month. The onset of the raptor breeding season has resulted in some great vulture sightings which are always enjoyed by all.
“Good food and atmosphere at camp. It was wonderful and the wildlife experience was unrivalled.”
“Friendly staff, knowledgeable guide and great game.”
Staff in Camp
Managers: Themba and Buhle, Eugene and Avias.
Guides: Themba, Brian, Robert and Livingstone.