Weather and Landscape
We have had a mild June this year and according to our guests the Jao Concession is warmer than the Linyanti and Savuti areas. The mercury has only dropped to 12° C on a few occasions in the evenings. Most days have warmed into the mid 20° C mark.
The levels of the water have been dropping rapidly, with an average drop of half a centimetre each day.
Once again, our mokoro activities have been a great highlight for most guests. Even those who have felt uneasy about the activity in the beginning have returned to the lodge loving the experience and the wildlife spotted.
We have been lucky enough to have a few more sightings of sitatunga on boat trips. One sighting was of three females that seemed to be quite relaxed which is unusual.
There have been good sightings of hippo, especially at Kubu Lagoon where there is currently a mating pair. The bull is quite aggressive towards anything which comes too close, so we have enjoyed watching this duo from a distance. There are also daily sightings of other hippo throughout the concession as we explore the watery channels by boat.
The Jao Pride of lions returned to Jao Island in the last week of June with a new male; the one our guides were calling the ‘Intruder’ at the beginning of the year. It seems he has ousted the previous male and has taken up his manly duties with gusto and verve. Our guests have been fortunate enough to see him mating with the females on a number of game drives. We have also heard him calling from Jacana in the late evenings and early mornings.
Game drives on Jao Island have been as productive as ever, with red lechwe, tsessebe, impala and herds of elephants being seen daily and not to mention the incredible birding.
Birds and Birding
We now have a resident family of red-billed spurfowl with five chicks at camp. There is also a family of white-faced ducks that are seen each afternoon in front of camp. As the water drops they move closer to the front of camp. African jacanas, little bee-eaters, malachite kingfishers and black crake are also seen regularly in front of camp.
The birds have also been having a feast at camp as the two sycamore fig trees that cover the main area have been in fruit this month.
The resident pair of Pel’s fishing-owls has been accommodating as usual and we have had a good number of great sightings.
“Very special – a great experience shared with super staff. Thanks to all!”
“Keep it the same way – it’s FANTASTIC!”
“Thank you for your great hospitality, it added to the pleasure of our stay with you.”
“Finding the lions on the way out from the airstrip, seeing a leopard on our drive and spotting a honey badger were our highlights. Fire side and dinner chat with the manager and guides was also great.”
“Thank you for sharing such a wonderful spot with our family!”
Staff in Camp
Managers: Ian and Michélle Burger
Guides: Timothy Samuel, Moruti Maipelo and Gibson Kehemetswe.