Climate and Landscape
July started off quite chilly here at DumaTau and we recorded a minimum temperature of 4° Celsius. Luckily towards the middle and end of July temperatures started rising gradually. Mornings were 13° and our hottest day recorded in July was 40°. Not bad for a winter month!
We received an unusual 2 mm of rain one evening, very uncharacteristic for this area in July. We were quite grateful as this settled some of the dust for a day or two. The Linyanti is becoming drier and drier by the day with many of the seasonal pans in the mopane woodlands completely dry by now. The woodlands are becoming quite bare and dusty but the floodplains and marshes remain a hotspot for animals to gather and quench their thirst.
It has been incredibly productive month for wildlife at DumaTau. Leopards were seen regularly throughout the month, including our local Osprey Female who often wanders around camp in the evenings. The Zib Female and her cub were found on three occasions with a kill hauled up into some trees – an incredible sighting of this secretive cat.
Lion sightings have also been fantastic. A hippo bull died along the floodplains in a thicket which attracted the LTC Male onto the carcass. He was later chased off by the Chobe males who left him with minor injuries. We also had a number of sightings of the Malibadi females and their cubs along the Savute Channel. Elephant numbers have been increasing gradually and it is not uncommon to see elephant permanently in the floodplains in front of the camp. A highlight is seeing these incredible animals crossing the Linyanti – from both land and boats.
We have had wild dog sightings every two to three days. These energetic hunters are often observed chasing and taking down game to feed their voracious appetites and large family packs. We witnessed wild dogs chase hyaena off an elephant carcass and scavenge off the kill. This is quite unusual behaviour for wild dogs and not often witnessed. Hyaena have also taken to bringing down baby elephants to feed from, not a sighting for the faint-hearted.
General game sightings have also been top-notch with multiple species sighted each day! The more elusive nocturnal denizens of the Linyanti occasionally make an appearance after sunset. This month we spotted porcupine, honey badger, civet, African wild cat, spring hare and bushbaby.
By far the most popular activity is our brunch out on the Linyanti aboard our barge. What a great way to enjoy a delicious meal watching elephant swimming in front of you – pure magic! We have also taken guests on fantastic sunset cruises with appetising snacks and a full bar on the barge. Sunsets over the water cannot be beaten!