Weather and Landscape
For most of October, temperatures have been extremely hot and miniature whirlwinds have been forming through the park. These windy updrafts are one of the many signs indicating the coming of the rains - as it is often winds from other small storms and local thunderstorms that cause these minor spiralling wind formations to occur and as if on cue, the end of October brought with it some mild yet refreshing rainfall.
Game viewing has been wonderful this month with excellent sightings thanks to a combination of dried up vegetation and scorching heat - both of which causes wildlife of all kinds to flock to the river. Huge herds of elephant, sometimes in excess of 300, would make their way down to the Shire during the midday heat - this is quite a sight to behold and our guests were blown away by this.
The Lichtenstein's hartebeest have been calving this month as we have seen many newborns running around. We have had some sensational sightings of lion, pangolin and black rhino.
Some of the highlights for the month included:
Duncan and his guests spotted a crocodile making a dramatic kill along the river close to Mvuu Lodge, but what made this even more interesting was the fact that it was a cannibalistic kill - a larger crocodile killing and eating a smaller individual.
Titus, the resident male lion, was also spotted this month relaxing on the road to Chinguni Gate. Plans are being put in place to translocate some female lions to the area in a bid to create a breeding nucleus and viable lion population in the park.
On the rhino side of things, we are thrilled to have an extensive microchip implantation programme take place over the next couple of weeks. This will help with our research and conservation of this species in the Malawi. By completing this programme we will also be further aiding in the fight against rhino poaching.
Birds and Birding
This month we have found a white-backed night-heron incubating her eggs just behind the guide's office. Another very unusual sighting was that of an African fish-eagle feeding on a reed cormorant - we are not sure if the eagle caught and killed the cormorant, or if it was scavenging off the carcass, as fish-eagles are known to scavenge.
Some of the other species seen for the month were red-necked falcon, Pel's fishing-owl, African barred owlet, palm-nut vulture, African cuckoo hawk, brown-breasted barbet and black-chested snake-eagle amongst others.
Nandumbo Clinic caters for many community members living around Liwonde National Park and is run by H.E.L.P. Malawi with logistical support being provided by Wilderness Safaris. Although the clinic is found just 150 metres off the main road, it has been difficult for many community members to find with ease so the Mvuu Team and Wilderness Safaris arranged for a signpost to be donated to help people from the community find the clinic more easily.
Newsletter by Christopher, Angel, Danger, Duncan, Mcloud, Jim, Mathews, Henry and Frank.