It is the end of October, and after a fantastic season it is time for Shumba Camp to close its doors and to start packing. One of our guides, JohnD, describes the feeling:
“For now the sun has fallen over Shumba and the Busanga Plains. It is time for us to go to sleep. We shall awaken soon, with the spirit of rebirth and the full strength that comes with the waters. We shall awaken to meet the challenge of the meandering waterways that hold in them the hippo, crocodile and lechwe that give us a glimpse into a life far stronger than one might think of. Soon we shall awaken, to meet again the incredible herds that greet us as we joyously step into the mud that gives us the power and strength to shout at the top of our voices: SHUMBA! We are back!”
Weather and Landscape
In October, the day temperatures could rise to 41 degrees Celsius, but the evenings and mornings were very comfortable with temperatures around 15 degrees Celsius. The storms that built up in the afternoons towards the end of the month gave us a spectacular preview of the rainy season that is about to start. Nature in full force with beautiful picture moments of dark skies, lush green grass and enthusiastic wildlife that cannot wait for the drops of rain to fall.
The month has brought us the most amazing wildlife sightings - the Busanga Plains is pumping with game during this time of the year.
The resident lions performed even better than the previous months. Climbing trees, jumping channels, hunting in front of the game drive vehicles and resting on the Shumba deck, these cats were everywhere. The Musanza Males that are trying to claim the territory are still in the area - but so are the Busanga Boys, the females and the cubs. We cannot wait to find out next season what has happened and which males will be the Kings of the Busanga Plains. The cubs are growing fast and are getting strong. We are confident that they are strong enough to walk and swim through the deep water and all of us hope to see them again next year.
Interestingly enough, we had more leopard sightings on the Busanga Plains and in the surrounding woodlands than we have had ever before. Almost every guest staying at Shumba has seen at least one leopard! Not just a glimpse, as is often the case with these elusive cats, but good sightings of a leopard on a kill or hunting.
We also had the pleasure of having a pack of wild dogs in the woodlands bordering the Busanga Plains. The dogs looked healthy with eight puppies present in the pack. For a honeymoon couple that stayed at Shumba it was a wish to see wild dogs and they could not believe that they had the chance to see them several times!
The three cheetah brothers showed themselves in the Plains on several occasions. For many of the guests, this was a sighting of a life time.
The Busanga Plains is a perfect area to see animals that are usually difficult to see. We had very good sightings of roan, sable, sitatunga, water mongoose, side-striped jackal, porcupine and honey badger.
The balloon flight was a highlight for every guest. To see the Busanga Plains from above is fantastic, but it becomes even more spectacular when you fly over all the game. This month some guests were lucky and had a flight over lions and a leopard!
“A truly spectacular place, everyone here is so special. Never want to leave!! To date my highlight was the balloon safari. Stunning! Keep up the excellent work.”
“No words can describe how I feel about this place! Love, love, love!”
“Wow what a special camp run by equally special people. You have a gem here… Keep up the amazing work you do! Hope to be back!”
“An amazing adventure and experience. Beautiful environment and the people working here have great positive energy and we loved it! The balloon ride is amazing!”
“Unforgettable experience! It was fantastic, everybody was wonderful, the landscape incredible and the lions and hippos as well. The balloon top of the charts. Thank you.”
Staff in Camp
Management: Ingrid Baas, Mclay Munachinene and Natasha Ngulube.
Guides: Idos Mulenge, JohnD Muleka and Sandy Sakala.
Click here to take a virtual tour of the Busanga Plains.