Climate and Landscape
May definitely showed signs of winter being on its way with cooler early mornings and late evenings, and the lowest temperature recorded at 17.8° Celsius. The maximum was 31° C.
The vegetation is thinning out at a rapid pace and the indigoferas are starting to die, which has opened up the area and had a good influence on game viewing.
At the moment, the Albida acacia trees are in flower and the sausage tree is still fruiting. We are expecting the sausage fruit to start dropping in the coming months. The mopane and the large feverberry trees are starting to shed their leaves as winter approaches. This has invited the smaller antelope to browse the fallen leaves. The Natal mahogany trees remain green and provide a welcome snack for the larger antelope.
Animal and Bird Sightings
We started off the month with a fantastic pangolin sighting near the airstrip.
One group of guests was privileged to see a leopard dragging an impala up a tree while the lions are beginning to mate. In fact, so have the leopards, and both species have been sighted mating recently.
The impala are beginning to rut. With the concession drying out, elephant have been coming into camp more often due to their dependency on the river. This is always exciting for the guests.
Birds and Birding
Again, we had a fantastic month regarding bird life.
A group of guests witnessed an African fish-eagle catching a cattle egret along the river. The yellow-billed storks, which are migratory birds, are still being seen in and around the concession. This is very unusual as they have typically left by this time of the year.
During May, we spotted 139 different bird species spotted on the concession. These included red-billed helmet shrikes and red-collared falcons. Numerous smaller birds of prey were spotted too, such as kestrels and goshawks. There was a rare sighting of a black morph gabar goshawk along the river during a canoe safari.
Mana West is now open and operational, which has made for a shorter game drive into camp. With the rainy season having passed we have been able to open up all of our game drive roads and this has increased sightings remarkably.
“The quality of the staff, especially Eddie, and our tour guide, Mundoga.”
“Seemed that there are quite a few roads within the concession. Our guide, Chis, made every effort to make sure our safari was memorable.”
Staff in Camp
Managers: Dylan and Michelle Assistant Manager: Eddie Trainee Managers: JoAnn and Bhobho Guides: Chris, Nyenge, Engelbert, Kambazvi, Tendai Gobby Guide: Kurt