Weather and Landscape
The rainy season has slowly begun and the Ongava Game Reserve has transformed from its usual tawny brown into an oasis of green, providing a newfound supply of food for all. The arrival of the rains usually brings with it an expectation of seeing fewer animals. The vague sense of disappointment is negated by the splurge of life the rains bring, and all the colours, with the trees and flowers starting to bloom and the birds starting to show off their breeding plumage.
For a few days early in the month the lion made Ongava Tented Camp their temporary place of residence. The first two weeks of December saw the waterhole frequented by lion more often than not. On one evening we were fortunate enough to have six white rhino and nine lion close to the waterhole and all at the same time! Don't expect to see this again soon however, as this was quite a unique sighting.
We were lucky to see rhino on quite a few nights at the waterhole. If guests did not get to see the rhino before going to bed, they could always have a look at the camera trap images the next morning to see what had happened while they were asleep.
We are expecting it to be much quieter over the next two months as the reserve becomes greener and water becomes more readily available in the bush. All is not lost though - the reduction in the larger game simply allows us to concentrate on the smaller animals, like the chameleons and squirrels and, of course, not forgetting the excellent birding we have at this time of year.
The Southern Masked-Weavers have made their traditional return to camp. These birds keep themselves busy all day building their nests over our swimming pool in their constant quest to impress the females.
Paul and Gerda are still happily managing the camp. They are assisted by Gregory, Inge, Alfonzo, Regan, Rio, Festus, Bariar and Leon.