|Climate and Landscape
The temperature is slowly starting to drop as we head into the winter season here at Toka Leya Camp. However, the days are really pleasant and perfectly comfortable for guests to get around and be active. The level of the Zambezi River has remained high as the up-country waters have now reached this area.
As usual, as the dry season approaches and the bush and small inland water sources dry out, the game viewing improves and some of the animals that had dispersed in summer have returned in their numbers. Toka Leya has once again become the place to hang out with huge herds of elephant coming through the camp to reach the water.
In the last few weeks, we seem to have been the preferred area of grazing for the big rhino bull that makes his way back to the camp every other night. He has also enjoyed watching the sunset with us on a few occasions after showing up at our sundowner setups. His proximity to the camp area has allowed for amazing photographic opportunities for our guests who couldn’t believe what they were seeing!
Buffalo have also been seen around Toka Leya Camp and their preferred overnight area has been the open plain behind Tent 12 – which almost guarantees that during each guests’ stay they will have a chance to see the herd, which is looking very healthy at the moment with grazing in abundance – and a lot of babies to boot.
As strong as the Zambezi current is, the elephants continue to cross from one side of the river to the other and guests are endlessly entertained by the herds and their youngsters trekking across. Despite the very strong current they soldier on until they get over to the other side, occasionally stopping to rest on the islands.
Our guests who have seen waterfalls elsewhere in the world have all come back from the Victoria Falls awed by what they have experienced, commenting on how their expectations have been exceeded. We enjoyed the remark from one group who said they doubted they’d ever be able to appreciate any other waterfall after seeing the Victoria Falls. This ‘Wonder of the World’ is definitely an unforgettable sight. The high waters coming down now have made the spray so big one can see it from very far away. Walking through the Falls now unquestionably requires a decent poncho as it’s much like being out in heavy rain.
No trip to Toka Leya Camp is complete without a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River. This special excursion on ‘our mighty river allows for the opportunity to see some of the massive reptiles and mammals that the river hosts. Guests have been amazed to see the numbers and sizes of the crocodiles, not to mention the hippo pods.
|Birds and Birding
But for some, best of all is the opportunity for great birding. The high river water flowing over the surrounding areas and islands has allowed for shallow pools to form in grassy areas, creating great feeding spots for the waders. The guides continually come back with reports of having spent all their time at just one or two stops where they have counted numerous different bird species – and for the bird lovers the experience is almost unbelievable as their checklists fill up so quickly!
The Toka Leya team has created another special experience for guests just by fitting our big boat with head lamps. We now stop on an island five minutes from our camp for a sundowner setup before the guests are taken on a short walk onto the island where they are greeted by a beautiful surprise dinner setup complete with singing staff. Unlike most outings where the dinner is usually a braai (barbeque) or buffet out of a chafing dish, the guests are treated to a three-course, plated meal.
Staff in Camp
Managers: Petros Guwa, Gogo Guwa, Cynthia Kazembe, Amon Ngoma, Muchelo Muchelo, Ondyne Dobeyn