Climate and Landscape
June was a month of two halves here at Pelo. The start of the month was surprisingly mild with temperatures ranging between 14° Celsius and 26° C. This changed towards the middle of the month and overnight temperatures dropped to a crisp 9° C. However, the sun warmed us up quickly and temperatures have been reaching 22-23° C recently.
There were a number of interesting wildlife sightings around camp this month. A couple of spotted-necked otters were seen approximately every other morning while guests were enjoying breakfast; usually only fleeting glimpses of them but as these are very rare animals to spot, we considered ourselves very lucky!
The Pel’s fishing-owl family has been spotted sporadically on our island, usually from mokoro activities. One evening we followed the deep hooting call to a fig tree and found the female, the male and the fast-growing chick! The male was even perched ready to drop down onto any unsuspecting fish passing below.
Speaking of fish, there was a delightful young guest at Pelo this month whose dream is to become a marine biologist. Luckily, one of the Pelo managers this month is an ichthyologist and they both went to have a look at what they could spot in the crystal clear waters at night with a torch. They spotted two catfish, many small tilapia seeking shelter in the shallow water and the highlight, an African pike which was hunting said tilapia. It was great to see that there is abundant fish-life close to the island to keep the Pel’s fishing-owls and the fish-eagles happy and well-fed – to say nothing of thrilling our budding biologist!
There has been an ever-increasing amount of elephant sighted in the last month. As they move between islands this has allowed for some incredible ‘elephants in the water’ experiences. There is something about seeing an elephant wading through the water which seems so unnatural and yet so graceful at the same time. Probably because most of the time we associate elephants with dry land.
On one of these crossings, a bull elephant decided to exit the channel onto a small island. Unbeknown to him was a huge crocodile very close to his intended route. The croc took the wise decision of splashing into the water realising that it was a battle worth retreating from; a great bit of inter-species interaction for everyone to witness.
We are also lucky enough to have a well-known bull elephant called Jack visit Pelo Island with the sole intention of eating our palm nuts. A whole group of guests witnessed him wrap his trunk around a palm tree and shake with incredible strength to make the nuts fall. He then spent a couple of hours picking up all the fallen nuts and throwing them into his mouth – a comical and awe-inspiring spectacle for everyone.
Finally, one of our groups decided to give some fishing a go while here in the middle of the Delta. Targeting the ferocious tigerfish, renowned for being one of the hardest-fighting freshwater fish in the world, many were hooked but lost. Feeling the raw power of a fish tearing off down the lagoon definitely gets the excitement going. Every now and again a tiger would make the mistake of not fighting hard enough… or did it feel sorry for the angler?
Staff in Camp
Managers: Samuel Wallace and Jennifer Denton
Guides: Sam Motswai and Moyo Kapinga