The wet weather has been a bit of a challenge, although the guests enjoyed the rain in the evenings as it cooled things down. On certain days, the wind blew very strongly from the east and in the middle of January, we enjoyed a few wonderfully hot days. So hot that even the baboons started making use of the swimming pool, jumping and chasing each other around the pool, not at all fussed with the guests watching them and taking pictures. For the visitors it was a wonderful memory that they won’t forget!
Guests experienced fantastic wildlife sightings this past month, especially of the playful new lion cubs. The guests get that certain sparkle in the eye when seeing the cubs frolicking around their mother and sometimes biting her tail. They were also fascinated at how protective the female is over her cubs when the male treats the little ones badly, for which he typically gets a smack. The guests also enjoyed the Hunda Island trips very much, appreciating the effort we go to, especially when a wonderful picnic is involved.
Great leopard sightings have been reported, from these cats hunting to sleeping in a tree, totally unconcerned about a group of people below snapping away with their cameras. They are simply too cool to care and are truly fascinating animals to watch. One wonderful rainy day, as we were heading back from collecting freight from the Jao airstrip, driving along the waterlogged road we came across a small crocodile. Minding its own business, it slowly started swimming towards the vehicle’s tyre, trying to figure out what this gigantic specimen was in its puddle of water!
One evening when Marelize and I were busy closing up the camp, we came across a beautiful civet walking underneath the office heading towards the guests’ accommodation – the first time I have ever seen one, so a really exhilarating experience! In the evenings when guests are ready to return to their rooms, we occasionally see three hippo (a bull, cow and calf) walking inside the camp, grazing and minding their own business. During the day, there is a big troop of baboons in the area as well as a herd of very relaxed impala. We also frequently see banded mongoose running around looking for something to eat.
At breakfast we have enjoyed the view of red lechwe grazing in front of camp as well as a few bushbuck lurking in the bushes out front trying not to be noticed; unfortunately they are still rookies when it comes to stealth.
The rain that has fallen in this area has made for wonderful photo opportunities with the marabou stork that hunt in front of the dining area looking for frogs to eat. Guests always say that it is such an ugly bird but they do enjoy watching it. The barn swallows have made good use of our pool umbrellas in the rain, huddling together to keep each other warm. A big flock in front of camp kept guests entertained as they watched them trying to catch termites that were flying around after the evening rain. Some endangered birds were also sighted in the area: saddle-billed stork and a black heron making its own umbrella with its wings – its unique way of fishing. Guests thought it was very funny, because it looked like it was trying to hide away from them.
Speaking of birds, two African fish-eagles were spotted catching a very big catfish in the road while GT, one of our guides here at Kwetsani, found a live catfish in a puddle in the middle of the road. Guests could definitely not have anticipated that and were very interested in what GT had to say about the catfish. Two hooded vultures were also spotted, trying to scrape the last bit of meat from a lion kill. Woodland kingfishers have also made their presence known early in the morning, waking up the guests while catching insects for breakfast.
"Rain and still the best. Hospitality #1. Excellent and proud staff! Thank you."
"Beautiful setting, excellent facility, wonderful staff and hospitality. Rasta is the most knowledgeable and capable guide who enabled us to see great wildlife in spite of the wet! "
Staff in Camp
Henk Truter and Marelize van Rensburg
GT Sarepito and Rasta Taetso