June stands out as a month of exceptionally rare sightings and exceptionally reliable sightings. On the rarity front, we witnessed a juvenile Jacobin cuckoo being reared by its surrogate arrow-marked babbler parents. We discovered this interesting phenomenon when we heard an out-of-season cry from the cuckoo, which should have followed its true parents north for the winter. Upon investigation, we found a hefty cuckoo chick, twice the size of the babblers, screaming for food – quite a strange sight although it isn’t an anomaly. Jacobin cuckoos are known as brood parasites – the females lay their eggs in nests of other bird species, tricking them into raising their chicks.
The most charismatic individual around these parts is certainly one young male leopard. Now twenty months old, he’s been more or less left by his mother to fend for himself. Until recently, it seemed his speciality was banded mongooses, but he proved himself this month by taking down a young warthog as well as a young kudu – a remarkable conquest for such a young leopard. Most impressively, he was seen on 16 different days in June – a record for any leopard around here and surely as reliable as leopard sightings anywhere.
Two months ago, we saw a pair of African jacanas mating on the lagoon in front of camp. Now they have a clutch of four eggs, floating on a small grass nest a few metres out. The eggs are spectacular, expressively painted, resembling a Jackson Pollock artwork. We’ve witnesses the adults defending the eggs from a hungry water monitor lizard and enduring bow waves from excitable hippos. We are watching them carefully, eagerly awaiting the appearance of the hatchlings.
Another rare occasion – we toasted a very special couple who celebrated 50 years of marriage together while in camp. They broke their tradition of celebrating their anniversary on the east coast of America and travelled to Botswana for the event, bringing their family along for the festivities.
With visitors from all over the map, from Mexico to Switzerland, and the World Cup in full swing we had our fair share of eager fans who bunked Brazil for Africa. And we did our best to keep them posted with scores, but mostly hoped to distract them with the action right here – I think we’ve been successful. Here’s an email we received from a guest this month:
I just want to thank you again for the wonderful days we spent in Seba. We started missing you all at the very first moment we arrived in the next camp. Everybody there was nice and the place very nice as well, but not even close to the warmth and spontaneity we received from you and all your staff. It is hard for me to find the words in English that express my feelings for Seba, we all agree that those were great days we´ll never forget and it is because of all of you. I may sound emotional but indeed I left a piece of my heart in Seba Camp and I really hope to go back some day.
Average Maximum: 23° Celsius
Average Minimum: 14° Celsius
Seba newsletter by Hailey and Tim Gaunt