Climate and Landscape
As the grass around Little Makalolo changed from lush green to hessian brown, it made spotting animals a lot easier; except for the odd lion that is, which blended into its surroundings almost too well! The leaves started falling with just a few retaining their green colour here and there. The sunsets were breathtaking as the colours of red, amber and orange illuminated the scenery on the horizon.
July saw our guests huddled by the firepit in the early morning for breakfast and again just before dinner. The morning chill in the air made the blazing fire a magnet for us all, everyone meeting round the fire again in the evenings as the sun set, taking the warmth with it. The lowest temperature for the month was 2° Celsius while warmest was 33°, causing some guests to take to the pool, although the water was a lot colder than in summer.
Little Maklolo had an amazing sighting in camp near the staff housing when an elephant died of natural causes, attracting a pride of 17 lion that were able to feed for 10 days on this windfall. This in turn brought in hyaena and jackal and the night was filled with the laughter of the hyaena and the eerie calls of the jackals. The roaring of the lions made us all look forward to what would we see in the morning around the carcass.
We had a number of plains game grace the front of camp too, with large herds of buffalo coming to drink at the pan, as well as zebra, impala, sable and giraffe, to name just a few. Sightings of roan antelope at Little Samavundla Pan were very special for our guests.
Birds and Birding
The staff were fortunate to witness a martial eagle going in for a kill. Late one afternoon they heard guineafowl making a lot of noise. The martial eagle appeared from above at great speed and on the first attempt missed its target; it then swept back up and on the next attempt was successful – all we saw were feathers in the air and the martial eagle on the ground with a guineafowl in its talons. Guests enjoyed kurrichane thrush and fork-tailed drongo calling regularly in the early mornings and late afternoons – and of course the guineafowl wake-up call at 5 am every morning to wake the staff.
This camp exceeded our expectations. We thought we would see another ‘’JABI’’- (just another b… impala) but seeing the lions feasting on the elephant was a sight to behold. The assistant managers Michelle and Kelly are the most pleasant people we have encountered. The guides Godfrey and Douglas were more knowledgeable than we could have expected. The chefs belong in a 7-star camp.
I liked the sightseeing, the staff and their readiness to help. Even to put the bandages on my foot –Thank you Kelly. Godfrey’s stories are informative and help us to better understand all the animals we have seen and photographed. All of this in just one and a half days, too short a visit. Thank you to all the staff.
Staff in Camp
Assistant Manager: Cosam
Trainee Manager: Michelle and Kelly
Guides: Godfrey, Douglas, Elias and Eustace
Kitchen: Nathan, Jerry, Alex, Alois, Elvis and Starr
Waiters: Seliot, Emmanuel, Konani and Andrew
Housekeeping: Nyajani, Charles, Thembelani, Last and Tatenda
Maintenance: Robson, Japhet, Mpikelelo, Meremani, Emmanuel T and Dina
Central Bodies: Mr.Botha, Makeyi, Mcgini, Dumisani, Elliot, Norman, Thutani and Khumbulani
Workshop: Mawa, Tom, James, Victor, Casper and Thabani
Environment: Arnold and Amanda