Weather and landscape
What an incredible month this has been for guests and staff alike. The long awaited rains have finally brought relief to the desert and we have experienced some fantastic thunderstorms over the first two weeks of December. The result is an unrecognisable Kalahari. The grasses are green, waist-high and all the different land forms are brimming with colourful flowers.
Weather conditions have been quite pleasant as most of the time it has been overcast which helped in blocking the heat from the sun. We experienced some much need rain too, which further cooled things down.
Feline sightings have always been exceptional in the Kalahari this time of the year. The Plains Pride is back in the area. We reckon that three of the females have cubs, but they have not revealed them yet. We all can’t wait to see them. The pride male, Lekhubu was sighted a couple of times and mostly, his thunderous roars have filled the nights, replacing the incessant winter chatter of the barking geckos.
Down in Deception Valley we have been blessed with some good cheetah sightings. The mother cheetah with her two small cubs was seen many times. She has been ranging from Deception Pan to Lekhubu. Still in Deception Valley we have seen another mother cheetah with her three sub-adults cubs of about 17 months (two males and a female).
As one of the highlights of the month, a young female leopard was spotted five minutes after picking up guests from the airstrip. We watched as she stalked, jumped and caught a bat-eared fox cub some 30 metres away from the road – all we could say was wow! What an experience, especially as leopards are not regularly seen in the Kalahari at this time of year because the grass is so high.
As for the herbivores, most of them have congregated in big herds in the pans as the palatable grasses in the alluvial soils are very green. A lot of them have young ones which attract a good number of predators.
Birds and birding
Birdlife has been amazing and this is the best time to see the birds of the Kalahari as many are breeding. They are quite active, displaying and singing to attract mates. Our summer migrants also inhabit the pans and the woodlands of the Kalahari.
Newsletter by Fanie Pimping