Weather and Landscape
Temperatures have been moderate as the rains and the cloud cover have cooled things down. The rains have been good this month, sating the thirsty Kalahari soils a little and settling the dust. On one occasion we received an impressive 30 mm of rain in one shower! There is now a green carpet of lush grass in the area and all trees now have gained their leaves, offering the animals more than enough graze and browse. Most of the depressions along the roads are filled with water and the natural pans are brimming with the precious resource. Ngamo Plains – which was looking like a desert – is no longer bare and even starting to flood. Specific waterholes are no longer the common places for animals as they now get water everywhere. Animals have spread all around our concession making it good for both scenery and game viewing.
Hwange remains a wildlife paradise to guests, regardless of the rains. Game viewing is at its best and guests are treated to superb sightings. What makes December such a unique time of the year is the fact that many herbivore species have their babies, and this is true especially for impala and blue wildebeest this year – the environment is just saturated with these calves at the moment – setting the stage for great wildlife interactions.
The rains arrived just in the nick of time, especially for the buffalo herds which were starting to diminish at a rapid rate due to predation and loss of physical condition from the persistent dry conditions. The lush green grass and surface water has reinvigorated the buffalo which are now thriving and recovering. The surplus of palatable food has coincided with a baby buffalo boom as well. Elephant are also thriving once again and are concentrated in the forest areas.
After months of plenty for the local lion prides, the felines are fat and healthy and continue to grow and we have witnessed lions mating and seen some young cubs in the area. Leopards have been more elusive this month and are hiding very effectively in the long vegetation although we see their tracks on a daily basis.
A coalition of two young male cheetah seems to have settled into the area, most definitely attracted to the bounty of baby antelope. We are really hoping that this duo will remain in the area and not be chased off by the local lions. Guests were specially treated when they watched 10 bat-eared foxes fighting with a small group of black-backed jackals. We weren’t too sure what the fight was over, but we can only imagine it involved a den site. A number of sable were also seen.
Birds and Birding
Birding is currently at its peak with the arrival of all the summer migrants and the explosion of flying termites or winged alates.
Large numbers of different stork species have also arrived in the area.
“Great food, friendly staff and superb sightings!”
“The staff were very friendly and took care of all our needs – we felt spoilt.”
“Great sightings and our stay has been the best.”
Staff in Camp
Managers: Themba, Buhle and Everard Guides: Themba, Douglas, Eustace and Robert