Climate and Landscape
July provided cool, overcast mornings with a minimum low of 11.3° Celsius. In the afternoons, the cloud cover generally moved off, the wind picked up slightly along with the temperature, providing warmer afternoons and the maximum temperature recorded was 29.7° C. On average, the minimum temperature was 15° C and the maximum temperature 27° C. Towards the end of July afternoons appeared to be warming up – a positive sign that summer is on its way.
With the shrubs almost completely thinned out and the inland waterholes having dried up, the browsers and grazers are forced to stick to the river frontage. This has attracted the predators, producing fantastic sightings throughout the month.
With acacia pods falling more frequently, the elephants are spending more time in the acacia forests. As the month progressed the milkweed started to flower, creating a stunning setting of predominantly white with purple streaks. The sausage-tree fruits have started to ripen and fall and browsers such as kudu, eland and impala are often found snacking on the fruit.
July unquestionably left our guests with memories that will last a lifetime.
Boswell (a monitored elephant) was seen in and around the concession performing his acrobatic displays, standing on his hind legs to break the higher branches, creating much excitement for numerous guests.
There was also a continuous flow of lion and leopard in and around camp – spotted during escorts to and from guests’ tents in the evening. On more than one occasion guests had to be driven back to their tents after the evening’s festivities.
One evening, our guests were forced to skip starters as there was a mating pair of lions directly behind the main area where the starters were waiting to be served. Now that’s an interesting reason to miss a course of delicious Ruckomechi cuisine!
The Ruckomechi riverbed was an active spot for leopard on both morning and afternoon game drives too.
Wild dog were spotted a few times, in the Ruckomechi riverbed, relaxing in the shade of the acacia trees, and also around the airstrip.
Birds and Birding
During July, 149 different species of birds were seen. White-fronted bee-eaters continue to nest in the banks of the river while swallow-tailed bee-eaters were spotted numerous times throughout the month in the Ruckomechi riverbed. The swallow-tailed bee-eater is an intra-African migrant, spending its time at Ruckomechi within the woodlands and dry riverine areas.
There were some memorable sightings of birds of prey too. Black-shouldered kites were frequently sighted near the airstrip and there were numerous sightings of both hooded and white-backed vultures during the month of July. A special sighting was an albino Meves’s starling; these starlings are often seen in the grassland behind camp.
“Truly an experience we’ll remember forever. From game drives, to hanging at camp, we loved it all.”
“The entire stay was a highlight – no words can really describe our experience.”
Staff in Camp
Managers: Dylan and Michelle Assistant Manager: Eddie Trainee Managers: JoAnn and Bhobho Guides: Chris, Nyenge, Engelbert, Kambazvi, Tendai Gobbi guide: Kurt