Climate and Landscape
As the temperature drops, the winds signalled the arrival of the month of August here at Toka Leya Camp. The bush has thinned out a lot and most of the leaves have changed colour, ready to drop. This is always an exciting time of the year as wildlife sightings just get better by the day. For those who enjoy looking at the stars, it’s really been a month filled with skies that have been absolutely clear of cloud cover, making star-gazing a must-do.
The river levels have kept dropping steadily and we have seen a big decrease in the water levels from last month. However, as expected, this has only enhanced the Victoria Falls experience and the huge plumes of spray (that can prove to be a hindrance to Falls photographs and clear visuals of the Gorges) have dropped tremendously, making this a really memorable experience.
With the coming dry season, we have seen an increase in animals either coming through Toka Leya Camp to access the river or hanging around the camp as there is a lot of green grass left from the receding water levels.
Our resident hippo Moto-Moto has certainly taken centre stage in terms of camp animals, even sleeping around the fire-pit area – an amazing experience for most guests who arrive to be welcomed by a very relaxed hippo, completely unconcerned by the activity of boats at the jetty. The term ‘Animals have the right of way’ has been used extensively by camp guides and managers this month as Moto-Moto would, in most cases, not move to allow the guests to enter the camp and they would have to be rerouted through the back entrance!
A small family of warthogs led by a beautiful big male pumba displaying an amazing set of tusks and who, like Moto-Moto, thinks he is part of the camp family, was one of the most photographed ‘warties’ in Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park this month. Warthogs are usually very skittish but our guy has evidently come to terms with all the camp guests and employees!
Once again we have seen a massive herd of elephant coming through the area, and this time the herd seems to have a lot of small additions. They swim from one island to the next as they move from one side of the river to the other; happily this time they stayed around Toka Leya for a few days before they trekked across the Zambezi River to the other side. As usual, when they come through not only the guests stop whatever they are doing, but literally the entire camp seems to stop as every staff member also tries to get out and watch this beautiful herd of some 100 animals swim across to the islands.