Climate and Landscape
In the full swing of winter here at Kings Pool, we had wonderful weather during the month of June. With very crisp mornings and marvellously warm afternoons, as soon as the sun dipped behind the horizon it was time to put on the layers and pull out the sherry!
Although we had a few very cold nights and mornings (down to -1° Celsius one morning with ice on the game vehicles!) it has not been as cold as previous years.
Also when comparing the landscape to this time last year, the water levels have not yet fully risen and the trees are still fairly leafy and green. Here and there, some waterholes are still holding water.
Kings Pool guests experienced a phenomenal diversity of sightings – it’s been an exciting month in the Linyanti!
Two male lion have been frequenting the area around Kings Pool Camp. We believe they are from Namibia and that they might previously have had a negative experience with vehicles (possibly farmers protecting their livestock and ploughing fields), as they are very skittish and aggressive. They’ve been calling and passing by on the main road just outside of camp on a few occasions, with their roars echoing deep into the Linyanti night.
The LTC Pride of lion temporarily separated due to the arrival of the two males, with several sightings of the LTC female mating with these two newcomers. The rest of the LTC Pride was seen feeding on a hippo to the far east of camp, close to Linyanti Discoverer Camp. They were also seen feeding on an elephant, next to the old Kings Pool airstrip.
The African wild dog packs have been sighted frequently around Kings Pool, with the pack of eight on occasion moving right through camp (even feeding each other on the boardwalk on the way to Tent 5 after an impala feast)! The alpha female of this pack has not been seen as much with the rest, as she is denning, and although the den’s location has not yet been revealed, the guides are keeping an eye on the area east of Kings Pool, for any sign of small furry pups!
Guests have been spoiled with frequent leopard sightings this month too. These elegant, most secretive and elusive large carnivores are mostly solitary and on a few very special occasions, up to three different leopards have been sighted in one day.
We had a surprise visit from two male cheetah, briefly moving through the area together. What an incredible sight to see these slender, sleek and graceful creatures.
Birds and Birding
Birding has been excellent at Kings Pool Camp during June, with incredible raptor sightings. A tawny eagle was spotted hunting a starling, while on another occasion two fish eagles were seen clasping each other’s talons in mid-air and spinning down, only letting go when they’d almost reached the ground. This was an amazing display of a battle over a female.
Goliath herons have also been seen frequently from the Queen Sylvia barge, and it appears they are nesting.
We have been very spoilt with breathtaking Linyanti sunsets, and what better way to celebrate them than with sundowner drink stops and surprise soup starters in the bush! With hippos keeping us company while we watch the sun go down, gin and tonic in hand, it makes for an unbeatable setting.
What to do when you have a very active group of family and friends of 16, including highly energetic children, taking over the entire camp? Here at Kings Pool, we organised a game of soccer – against the nearby camp of the Botswana Defence Force! The Kings Pool Team consisted of the 16 guests, all rotating positions, as well as Kings Pool staff vs. the strong, fit and agile team of the BDF. A very energetic game, thoroughly enjoyed by the whole group, and our guests left with unforgettable memories of the day they played soccer in Botswana against the military!
Kings Pool now offers scenic helicopter flights too. This breathtaking experience can be organised by management once guests are in camp, and can be taken at midday, so as to not miss out on any game drive activities in the mornings and afternoons.
This month, Kings Pool welcomes Ipeleng Pheto as Front of House and Guest Relations Manager. Having worked at Abu Camp in the Delta for the last two years, she fell in love with the Linyanti on a visit earlier this year, and has decided to make it her home. She brings with her a wealth of experience, amazing creativity and a beaming personality bursting with fun, laughter and a wicked sense of humour!
We sadly said goodbye to Kemmonye Wright, who has moved to Abu Camp, as well as Rikki Lotter, who moved back to South Africa.
Staff in Camp
Managers: Malcolm Peacock, Michelle Koen, Ipeleng Pheto, Montshiwa Masaka Rikki Lotter, Kemmonye WrightGuides: Khan Gouwe, Ndebo Tongwane, Lemme Dintwa, Moses Gunikhwe, Bobby Rakaru
Photographs courtesy Khan Gouwe, Michelle Koen