Spotted-necked otters seen again on Mumbo Island
We are thrilled to report that our lovable local otters, which seemed to disappear for a year (or at least lie low), are regularly seen again in Mumbo Island’s small bay. They feed on fish, snails and small crustaceans and are usually only to be seen at dawn and dusk. Generally this species' numbers are in decline in Africa due to loss of their native habitat, so we are very glad to see that they are still safely living on and around Mumbo Island. We were fortunate that one of our guests had her camera handy to take this great shot.
Cape Maclear Primary School educational visit to Domwe Island
On 17th June, Kayak Africa offered Cape Maclear Primary School a day trip to Domwe Island for members of the school’s wildlife club. The school selected thirty pupils and six teachers to go on the outing. They were given a tour of Domwe Island and a discussion about how we operate a sustainable camp there by Kayak Africa’s head guide and manager, Edward Stefano. The Department of Parks and Wildlife also sent an assistant to teach the students about wildlife conservation and waste management. While on Domwe, the pupils enjoyed learning to kayak and snorkel, went on a hike and a boat cruise and then enjoyed a hearty lunch and cold drinks in the dining area. The group came back very thrilled with their adventure.
Kayak Africa has been offering these trips to local schools for three years now in the hope of fostering a sense of community involvement and understanding of the reasons why the islands in the National Park are precious, protected areas.
Saint Andrews Primary School kayaking course
Saint Andrews Primary School is an international private school based in Blantyre. The school recently booked a two-day kayaking course for 48 students. Our kayak guides, Edward, Fred, Cleartone and Denford, gave the students a crash course at Golden Sands beach in the National Park, spending two hours a day with each group. The students enjoyed learning to kayak with confidence and being able to explore the crystal-clear waters of Otter Point by boat. This is the second year we have run this course for Saint Andrews pupils and it promises to become a much-loved yearly event.
Kayak Africa coordinates the purchase and organisation of a fire fighting unit in Cape Maclear
A number of lodges, cottages and the Billy Riordan Clinic in Cape Maclear have clubbed together to purchase a high pressure water pump and long hose to fight fires in our local village. Because the village is largely built from reed and thatch, it is very vulnerable to the spread of fire. Villagers are very vigilant about setting up the call for help if they see a fire, but there is only so much one can do with buckets being filled from the lake. Kayak Africa sourced a custom made high-pressure fire pump in Cape Town and had it sent up to Cape Maclear last month. Our local director, Jurie Schoeman, arranged the first trial fire fighting unit and ran a test at the Gecko Lounge with local volunteers. The trial went off very well and we all feel a lot more confident that should a fire in the village start, together we can put it out a lot more speedily.
This is a joint venture between the local lodge owners and the village and fosters the sense of a united community in the village.