Weather and Landscape
October provided us with some very unusual and strange weather conditions, ranging from cold, windy, cloudy days to scorching temperatures. The month did however live up to its reputation as ‘Suicide Month’ with the maximum recorded temperature pushing the mercury up to 37 °C. However this is much cooler than previous Octobers, for which we were grateful.
The clouds yielded a total of 15 mm of precipitation, which was rapidly absorbed by the dry ground. Even although the rainfall was slight, some of the vegetation – like the clusterleafs, bushwillows, acacias and syringas – has burst into flower and leaf. Many flower species have begun to bloom, adding such a variety of colour to the environment.
October has been a fantastic month in terms of game viewing. We had awesome lion sightings and on occasion, our guests could enjoy great views of these felines from the comfort of their rooms, as Ostrich Pan attracted lots of lion activity this month. Watching the lions pick up their pace as they approach the waterhole was very interesting – obviously the urge for a soothing drink was too much.
Quite a few of our guests said their highlight of their trip was the ritualistic mud wallowing and socialising that many elephants would do on a daily basis at the pan.
Antelope sightings were really good and we were treated to some outstanding sightings of roan and sable. A very large eland herd was seen around Scott’s Pan on a regular basis. A fairly large herd of buffalo would occasionally visit Ostrich Pan, but due to the high presence of lions, the buffalo would try to drink elsewhere.
Above all of this, we were really treated to some very unusual and rare sightings:
- An aardwolf was seen on the Makalolo Plains;
- A number of cheetah sightings;
- Great leopard sightings;
- A pack of wild dog; and
- gemsbok (oryx) at Scott’s Pan.
Birds and Birding
Birdlife is very prolific for this time of the year as usual. The migratory birds have left the cold countries and are here with us for a few months. We welcome back some nightjars like the pennant-winged and the square-tailed nightjars as these were seen on the evening game drives.
Some cuckoos are also back, such as the Jacobin and the greater-spotted cuckoo. The white stork, Abdim’s stork and marabou storks have also been sighted in October, adding to the prolific sightings.
Hwange National Park is definitely a bird lover’s paradise this time of the year with all the interesting various bird calls giving soothing music in a diverse and rich wilderness.
“The best elephant viewing ever! Great birds and first class staff made these few days outstanding.”
“The range of animals seen, first ever sighting of roan and sable, wonderful diversity of birdlife.”
“Always a warm welcome on every return to camp. Seeing lion, leopard and cheetah all in one drive.”
“The game drives were fantastic, but we also enjoyed our conversations with the staff and other guests during and after the meals.”
Staff in Camp
Managers: Sibs and Elizabeth.
Guides: Sibs, Brian, Livingstone, Mike and Eustace.