The first month of 2013 proved to be a good one, with great guests, wonderful sightings and enjoyable company. Kwetsani was busy for the first half of the month and then we closed down for our annual maintenance, where we refresh the camp for a new year, so by the end of it, Kwetsani will also have a new and clean feel.
Weather and Landscape
The month of January was really a wet month, with two big rain storms where we had over 100 mm for each storm. The storms were accompanied by strong winds which had the rain falling horizontally. A few trees around the camp were felled by the storms, but not much damage to infrastructure was done. Towards the end of the month, we started getting high temperatures during the day, but due to all the rain, the evenings have still been cool and comfortable.
For about half of the month, during the night and early mornings, we were greeted by the roars of lions. These have either come from the Jao Pride or the intruder. The Jao Pride was on the northern Kwetsani floodplain in the beginning of the month, where they killed a lechwe and our guests got some great photographs of the juvenile male playing with his food. The pride then crossed the northern river and we have not seen them again. The young male or 'intruder' has been around Kwetsani Island for the last 10 days and he has been roaring each and every night, looking for other lions. He is often sighted by the water pump.
Leopard sightings have been scarce on Hunda Island but our guides have worked hard and most of our guests have seen this elusive feline. Hyaena have also been sighted in and around Kwetsani as well as on Hunda Island. The young male hyaena has been seen under Tent 4 and around the kitchen where he has been hoping to scavenge a tasty morsel or two.
The resident bushbuck have been seen each day and even the males are becoming more relaxed when they are sighted from the walkways.
A group of four buffalo were seen near the airstrip and on the Jao floodplains, great herds of lechwe are always around. A couple of reedbuck are often seen in front of Kwetsani and impala are never far away.
Birds and Birding
The birdlife around the Jao Concession never fails to amaze and for birders, this is a great time. With all the rain, a small surge of water occurred in the waterways, which brought out all the newly-hatched fry and the catfish also came out of the mud. This caused the African fish-eagles to have a feast and enjoy the extra helpings. Woodland kingfishers are also seen and the sheer numbers of wattled cranes and saddle-billed storks are amazing.
A black-breasted snake-eagle has been seen between Kwetsani and Jao Camp as well as black-shouldered kites. The bulbuls, golden weavers and robins are seen every day bathing in the bird bath on the main deck.
Staff in Camp
Managers: Ian and Michélle Burger.
Guides: Florence Kagiso and Ronald Ronald.