Weather and Landscape
This month the weather has been mild. While it was cooler than April, the nights are still rather warm with the average minimum temperature of 15° C and a daily maximum temperature in the upper 20s Celsius. We had one evening of drizzle - very unexpected for this time of the year - yielding 1mm. The water levels have remained constant at 78cm and are way down on last year’s figures for this time of the year. It looks like it is going to be a much drier year as far as the water levels are concerned.
Our mokoro trips have had regular success at spotting the resident pair of Pel’s fishing-owls, much to the delight of our keen birders. There have even been guests coming from Tubu Tree Camp to see our pair of Pel’s. The floodplain in front of camp has been a good place to sit and enjoy the African fish-eagles, African jacanas, malachite kingfishers and pied kingfishers zip about.
The game drives on the Jao floodplains have provided lovely sightings of the various antelope species such as tsessebe, impala and red lechwe. One group of our guests were fortunate enough to see a pair of steenbok with a calf, which was in turn being hunted by a martial eagle! The following day, the martial eagle was sighted with the remains of the calf, so the hunt must have been successful. There have been a number of good sightings of martial eagles this month.
Over the last few evenings, just before going to bed, we have heard hyaena calling to the west of the camp.
Jack, the resident elephant, visited us on the last two days of the month and he was on the island the whole two days, enjoying the palm nuts and the vegetation around camp. He even came right up to the main building several times throughout the day, in the process preventing staff from getting ready for brunch, high tea and dinner.
There have been daily sightings of the resident hippo, which has been very relaxed but we have been extremely cautious when doing mokoro trips and on two occasions our guides have had to end the trip by the staff bridge. On two occasions, the hippo came to an area just behind and next to the boma area for a nap. This has been a great highlight for the guests who have never been in such close proximity to a huge mammal.
Boating trips have been successful with guests enjoying the smoothness of the boat after the bumpy game drives. Regular sightings of crocodile, hippo and elephant crossing the channels have been recorded as well as one sighting of the elusive sitatunga. Birdlife has been in abundance with good sightings of wattled cranes and a breeding pair of saddle-billed storks.
“EVERYTHING has been a highlight – but especially the mokoro, the beautiful champagne and outside bath and the hospitality of the staff.”
“Ian and Michelle being such friendly hosts, the lovely welcome I received and the singing on arrival, the mokoro trip and sundowners under the baobab and cultural night were our highlights.”
“Everything was great – hard to select. Some really key highlights though…
1. Kindness and cheerfulness of the staff.
2. AWESOME location – loved the food, rooms and all.
3. Great approach to wildlife – conservation and respect. Much better to not go in too close.”
Staff in Camp
Managers: Ian and Michélle Burger.
Guides: Timothy Samuel and Moruti Maipelo.