Weather and Landscape
Summer in northern Botswana is of course the rainy season. These are exciting times in the Linyanti Concession and this year the rainfall has been good - last summer's rains were very good too. This year we have had almost daily downpours which are slowing down now because we are almost at the end of the rainy season. As we are approaching winter, the temperatures have started to drop steadily and we are now experiencing a cool breeze in the mornings and during the evenings.
Winter also signals the arrival of the annual inundation in the Okavango Delta, and this is clear as the Linyanti River has already started to rise as huge volumes of water pour down the Caprivi Strip from Angola and into the Linyanti River. As the river rises, we will soon be able to offer our guests relaxing boat trips on the Queen Silvia. Fishing also becomes a very popular activity, which we operate strictly on a catch and release basis.
The wildlife at Kings Pool continues to delight. Generally once winter arrives, the elephant herds tend to disperse over a wider area, but this year there are still many large herds around Kings Pool. We have noticed that some of the herds will move between Botswana and Namibia on a daily basis.
Kings Pool Camp remains the exclusive preserve of warthogs and impala by day and curious hippo by night with their quintessential African grunts and honks. Perhaps the impala would be wise not to stray too far, as we have often seen the LTC Pack of wild dogs in the area. The pack currently consists of 21 individuals and Kings Pool falls in the middle of their territory. As the high volumes of water pour into the area, all large predators are forced to change their hunting strategies, but due to the dynamic of team work, the dogs are able to exploit any situation and adapt suitably. We are in constant hope that this pack will successfully raise their seven pups, which are close to a year old now. As luck was on our side, some of our guests got to witness a number of successful hunts.
On the feline side, the resident male lion is still doing well and we enjoyed numerous sightings of him with the entire LTC Pride. Five nomadic males from Chobe have been in the area and have challenged the resident male a number of times, but have not been successful in displacing this king of beasts. The large DumaTau Male has also shown an interest in the area but has not been able to displace the Kings Pool Male.
The rest of the LTC Pride is still very well and all four cubs are still strong and growing up quite well. They spent most of the month to the western side of Kings Pool for the past two months but this month they were seen a few times on the eastern side of camp.
We also had some great sightings of the resident female leopard with her cubs a couple of times this month. We saw her hunting a couple of times, and were lucky to see a handful of successful attempts.
On the night drives, we had some great sightings of the nocturnal wildlife, including encounters with bushbabies, porcupine, and African wild cat as well as a couple small-spotted genet sightings.
Birds and Birding
As we approach winter, a number of species are frantically nesting before the chill sets in. A common sound heard is that of the starlings mobbing the African-harrier hawks and other opportunistic predators which are trying to get a quick meal from the nests. A pair of giant kingfishers are nesting by Tent 5, providing our guests with some great photographic opportunities.
Staff in Camp
Managers: Alex and One Mazunga, Julie Sander, Frank Maule and Kenny Lugayeni.
Guides: Ndebo Tongwane, Yompy-Diye Kennetseng, Lemme Dintwa and OD Modikwa.
Newsletter and images by Alex Mazunga.