December - the closing month of 2012 - what a wonderful and festive month it has been! It started with the wedding reception of Tiffany Kays and Brendon Riley, being held at Kwetsani. The camp was wonderfully transformed into a wedding reception venue, overlooking the floodplains of the Delta. Christmas was the next event, with lots of delicious food being served, and all the guests being in a festive mood, making for a jolly Christmas - and a New Year too! All in all, a great end to yet another successful year, with anticipation for what 2013 is going to hold for us. We wish all our readers a blessed and prosperous New Year.
Weather and Landscape
This has been a pleasantly mild December where the sun has not been blistering hot. The skies have stayed slightly overcast for most of the month, giving us a good shower to soak the earth every few days. We also experienced a spectacular rain storm when 75 mm of rain fell in a matter of 15 minutes. As African summer storms often do, it rained down on us furiously and then stopped, and the guests went out and had a great afternoon activity.
The still hours of one particular morning were broken by the deep lion roars of two young males. We could hear them first in the distance and then coming closer and closer to Kwetsani. They were found walking proudly across the floodplains, making their presence known with every step. We have named the one with the dark chest-mane Pepper and the brother with the lighter chest-mane Salt. What healthy, majestic young princes these are. They were letting us know that although they are princes now, they are certainly going to be kings within the next year or so - already marking the territory over the present dominant lion male.
The young Jao Pride has been feasting on red lechwe close to camp over the last few days of December. It was great to see the young male having grown so big. With tummies full they did not really want to move and when they did they just flopped by the water, the youngster cooling right down on the river's edge.
Our well-trained guides have tracked leopard successfully this month, making for exceptional sightings. Much to the guests' surprise, each time the guides predict the next movement of the leopard or its destination, they are in awe when it happens just has he or she described. So many guests have repeatedly thanked the guides for giving them the opportunity to witness how the tracking of these well-camouflaged cats is done. Well done to MT, Flo and Ronald for giving our guests such wonderful experiences.
On most evenings, the local spotted hyaena clan make their way around the camp to their favourite hunting areas, to see where they can scavenge or hunt. With the lions so close to the area all the time, they are getting their fair share of food to scavenge from the latest kill. Each time they are successful, the night air rings with the cackle of the hyaena.
Plains game have been in abundance and our guides have really enjoyed interpreting the environment for their guests.
Birds and Birding
The mokoro experience is one that has given us great bird sightings of normally very shy birds, such as the black crake. Silently, the polers try to get us as close to the malachite kingfisher, so in order to get a good photo of this beautiful bird.
We have had wonderful sightings of a variety of birds, but one that really stands out for December is the little bee-eater. We have enjoyed watching them dexterously catch dragonflies and flying ants while on the wing.
Staff in Camp
Managers: Dan and Charmaine Myburg.
Guides: MT Malebogo, Florence Kagiso and Ronald Ronald.