Weather and Landscape
December was a fairly warm month, although the heat was moderated by the rains that we received. This bodes well for a good year ahead. The weather forecast had already warned of heavy downpours, and it certainly came to pass. The temperature started at 20 degrees Celsius, peaking at 36 in the heat of the day. We received 155 ml of rain in December but the sky still shows signs that there is yet more to come. However, this was the perfect weather for Christmas because it was neither too hot nor too cold. The landscape in the mornings has been looking stunning with beautiful reflections in the water. The sunsets were awesome as well. Nothing is more rewarding than sundowners against such a backdrop!
With all the rains, there is water in abundance in the woodlands and therefore fewer animals in the vicinity of the camp, making game drives the best way to track down the excellent sightings out there. The landscape has become very lush as well, making the wildlife harder to spot. Guests appreciated seeing impala, kudu and giraffe, while sightings of hyaena, wild dog, elephant and leopard were a big bonus. A leopard that has been frequently seen showed up with a young one, probably teaching it how to hunt. It was charming to see the wild dogs taking a bath in the ponds after a long and muddy hunting spree.
Birds and Birding
Birdlife has been really good as there is water everywhere and the weather is highly conducive for birds. This is a ‘buggy’ season and we all know how much the birds like them. It was my first time ever seeing an owlet that had just hatched! One really appreciates new things in life in the bush in December.
We had a Christmas party for staff prior to re-opening of camp just before the actually Christmas day. Staff really had fun playing games with colleagues from sister camps. If we are able to spend festive times without our biological families but still have as much fun with work mates, it gets to show that we are not only colleagues but one big family away from family.