Weather and Landscape
October has been a superb month with hot days and nice cool evenings. We were fortunate to get a few thunder showers later in the month and that provided for lovely evenings and cool mornings. There was a slight cool breeze moving early in the mornings, but the sun quickly responded with its warm comfort and warmed up our days. In the afternoons, it was quite hot and guests could not wait for their fishing and swimming activities to start, which brought great delight for everyone who set foot in the Delta. On occasion some of our guests were lucky to catch and release the big ‘tigers’ of the Delta.
Pelo is blessed with surrounding waters, creating a pristine area for birding and wildlife that prefer water-bound areas. We saw an African fish-eagle that seemed to be stuck in the water up to his chest, only to realise that he had caught something almost as big as himself. He struggled to the edge of a nearby island and dragged his prize, a catfish - locally known as a barbel, onto the island for a satisfying feast. We also saw a few crocodiles, big and small. On one afternoon we saw a big croc pushing a huge barbel through the shallows, taking it to feast in deeper water.
We had several breeding herds of elephant rushing through the shallows with each youngster firmly holding on to the mother’s tail (almost holding them back). Our guide is an excellent spotter and managed to find several sitatunga antelope for the guests to marvel at – including one female with a youngster close to her side on a small remote island. These are rare antelope so such a sighting was spectacular!
We heard the lions roar a few mornings, and at night the hippos said good night in their own humorous way. The island opposite Pelo has a fair amount of resident game, and often we would see the herds of lechwe coming over for a drink.
Birds and Birding
The two resident Pel's fishing-owls are still on Pelo Island, hiding in the thick canopies of the sycamore figs on the fringe of the island’s south-east corner. Saddle-billed storks are around every corner and you cannot get enough photos of them as the light shimmers off their beautiful beaks and plumage. We also saw several herons when out on the mekoro and it provides great opportunities for photos and viewing, as there is no noise from a roaring engine.
We saw goliath herons on several occasions, surrounded by African darters, spur-winged geese, squacco herons and the majestic and always wary African fish-eagles. It’s coming closer to the breeding season and birds all over are looking for prime and safe nesting grounds. You see the weavers carrying grass, the doves collecting sticks and the herons dashing into the reeds, followed by the African jacanas trotting over the lily pads.
We had beach brunches and high teas, surprise coffee breaks and fishing outings at sundown. The guests especially enjoyed the quiet and relaxing mokoro rides, which led to a lot of them wanting to try and learn to pole a mokoro themselves, with guides and managers close by to lend a helping hand, or take a photo of their unstable attempts, and the rest of the party laughing on the side.
There are several deep channels around Pelo, where a few crocodiles, hippos and big fish live. The boat trips are extremely pleasant and guests can get closer to hippo and the elephant, as opposed to a mokoro where we keep a greater distance. We also enjoyed some star gazing from our sundowner deck or boma, and on full moon we gazed at the reflection of the moon on the water, with something to warm us up in hand.
We are looking forward to a warm and sparkling November, filled with even more surprises.
Staff in Camp
Managers: André Erasmus and Lené Stopforth
Guide: Ngande (Moja) Ramocha