Shumba Camp - October 2011

Nov 9, 2011 Shumba Camp
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The heat continues to build and is broken occasionally by cloudbursts. As we entered October, the first 'proper' rains hit and brought the plains to life in many ways with the first flush of green grass. Dust and smoke has washed out of the atmosphere and the light is simply amazing. As the month draws to a close the rains have definitely set in and November promises an interesting time - but worth it to be here at arguably one of the most beautiful times of year!

The Busanga lioness and her three cubs have taken over the camp. She did not move the cubs out of the camp environs at all the whole month - they were located at Tents 5 and 6, then the management tent. She finally (and appropriately) settled at Tent 1 (the family unit) and has been there ever since.

Of course the deck visits continued and allowed for great sightings as well as challenges for the housekeepers! We continued to try to keep parts of the camp blocked off, and introduced a system of drums to let us know if guests needed anything while they were in the rooms.

Fortunately all our guests understood the situation and were all amazed by the whole experience. The cubs have been seen fairly infrequently but regularly enough just to let us know they are around and growing a lot larger with each sighting!

Towards the end of the month, the rest of the pride have been ranging further afield than previously, but the mother has continued to hunt very successfully on her own and is still in excellent condition.

With the onset of the rains, the plains are as dry as they are ever going to get and we are now covering vast areas compared to the start of the season. The area south of Shumba, known as 'Paradise', is now a lush green vast expanse dotted with herds of roan, zebra, wildebeest and buffalo - it truly is remarkable. To the north, the permanent papyrus swamps offer visitors a taste of the early season - up there, there are still vast quantities of flooded areas teeming with lechwe and African Jacana.

The bird life is wonderful at this time of year with some of the first palaearctic migrants arriving including large numbers of swallows and bee-eaters. The camp was also visited by a Martial Eagle which was clearly visible from Tent 6. All this goes to show that in reality some of the best sightings and events in the Busanga Plains this season have actually been visible from the camp.

As we move into November we are entering our last month of operation and can't wait to see what the weather and the lions get up to!

Guest Comments
"The hospitality of the staff and the level of service was amazing:" Simone.

"Lioness on the veranda of our tent!" Thomas.

Staff in Camp
Managers: Julia Bauer, Tara Rowe, Ashley Rowe and Zoe Namangonze.
Guides: Sam Simunji, Lex Munuma and Idos Mulenga.

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