It has been a windy month here at Ongava Tented Camp and a cold front passed through bringing in some rain - very little, but at least some! In general, however, our temperatures soared into the high 30s and low 40s (degrees Celsius) for the month. The general condition of the mammals in the area is still good, however some of the older animals are starting to show their ribs.
As usual the waterhole has been very productive this month. Due to the high temperatures we had some wildlife using the waterhole as a pool, the zebra in particular.
One morning, we had five male eland at the waterhole and of course, like all males, they had to show off and test their strength against each other.
We also had a caracal at the waterhole. It was a little smaller than usual, so perhaps it was a young male looking for a companion.
Ongava Reserve Conservation
The Ongava Reserve did its annual rhino notching during September. The Research Centre and Anti-Poaching Unit dart young rhino between two and three years old, which each get a small notch made on their ears so they can be identified in the future. Blood is taken for analysis, they are measured and finally microchips are implanted in their horns and in their bodies. When a rhino dies, scavengers will eat the carcass and possibly the microchip, while hyaena are famous for taking away the head and the horns; with both the horn and body implanted with a chip, the individual can normally be identified regardless of what parts end up where.
Some children like to play jenga while other like their iPads. Emily and Jessie, some of our recent guests, liked bones. Rio, one of our guides, took them out to an old giraffe skeleton and they had a ball. And look at the size of that tooth that belongs to the giraffe.
Pictures: Eland by Heinrich Heberling; rhino notching by Caroline Culbert