We only had a few cold days in August, but other than that we have been blessed with lovely spring days. The mornings have been crisp and clear and the bird chatter lets us know that summer is arriving.
We have an impressive herd of wildebeest on Hunda Island, which shows that they have just come back into the area. For most of winter we only had one bull that seemed to be looking after the territory while the others went on to look for greener pastures. He must be happy that his company is back and he is no longer so vulnerable to the predators around.
A tower of at least 14 giraffe has gathered together making an impressive sighting. Giraffe in the wild is one of the animals so many of our guests want to see. These tall, gracious mammals seem to love the camera and almost pose for photographs when you get close enough. In their company is often seen a dazzle of zebra, who rely on the good eyesight of the giraffe to keep them safe.
A giraffe carcass was found which we believe died of natural causes. This became a feast for the leopard, who were often seen two or three at the dinner table. Of course the hyaena gorged themselves as well.
The guests were excited to see the large herd of buffalo that were huddled together staring at us intently. I suppose, if you are always being hunted, you don’t quite know if these guests are also going to join the fray of predators. We are also seeing larger volumes of antelope telling us that summer is on its way.
Mufasa, our male lion, was seen at Jao and stayed around for most of August, but the ladies have been scarce – we are hoping that they are scarce because they are looking for a suitable maternity ward.
We have a shy female leopard and her cub that often walk through Kwetsani, and at least once a week a male comes through camp. But they always come through when everyone is sleeping and we have no idea where they go to during the day. Although these individuals are shy, the leopards we see during our game drives are more outgoing. August has been a phenomenal month of great leopard sightings throughout; sometimes the guests were seeing several different leopard during an activity.
We have regular sightings of a mother hyaena and her two sub-adult pups on the floodplains. We also see a hyaena pup that is growing quite fast at Hunda while there is another pregnant female there, so we are expecting at least another hyena pup within the next couple of weeks.
Talking of predators, baboons can also be predatory when they find suitable food. In this case the newborn bushbuck that was born in camp was hunted and devoured within minutes by the dominant baboon male leaving only a few bones for others to chew on.
It already sounds like summer here, with all the birds feeding on the jackal-berry fruit at our entrance. We have even spotted the woodland kingfisher back in the area. Guests got a great sighting on two occasions of a coppery-tailed coucal with a water snake – none though were quick enough with their cameras.
The barred owl is back but we have not seen our Verreaux's eagle owl for a few weeks. We are wondering if it is not nesting somewhere and will return soon with a chick. We are really hoping so as we do miss having it around; however the mongoose are delighted that it is not in camp.
MT and Flo have guided our guests expertly, giving our visitors a wonderful Wilderness experience at Kwetsani. Here are a few comments from our guests:
Gabriella & Reinhard wrote: “Surely to see the leopard was a highlight and the way MT found him. However every minute was a highlight. The friendliness, warmth, attention, care, knowledge, the ease. We enjoyed it all and we found perfect balance and harmony in the whole atmosphere. The staff open hearted and kind, the true African spirit coming through. Working with love that is a highlight for a visitor.”
Rudy and Pam wrote: “Hospitality extraordinaire! Beyond our expectations; beautiful rooms, wet towels after a drive. Guides(Flo) that are so knowledgeable & skilled. Thank you for this luxury in Africa. Also, the food was tasty – 2nd servings for all!”
Staff in Camp
Guides: Florence Kagiso and MT Malebogo
Managers: Dan and Charmaine Myburg