Climate and Landscape
With all the chilly mornings we’ve experienced at Tubu Tree, winter is definitely on its way, although happily it warms up by mid-morning. We have also had two big thunderstorms this month with a combined 50 mm rainfall adding considerably to the rising water levels. The water level around the front of camp is rising each day; with it more and more birds are frequenting the area – which the guests are really enjoying.
With the Delta waters on the rise, game viewing has been plentiful with almost daily sightings of leopard, lion, buffalo and elephant! General game viewing has also been exceptional with big herds of lechwe, wildebeest and zebra seen regularly.
Our female leopard and her cub have been providing our guests with memorable and amazing photo opportunities. Over the last two weeks, she has made several kills close to camp, which the guests are really enjoying. The cub is particularly entertaining with her jumping, stalking and pouncing on the carcasses all adding to the valuable life lessons she needs to become as successful a hunter as her mother.
Guests watched two of our resident males in a territorial dispute, with one of the males treed by the dominant leopard and then jumping down and fleeing from the bigger, stronger male. Another female and cub have been spotted near the airstrip but this female is not as relaxed, so sightings of her are brief.
Our two resident male lion have been seen on a regular basis and they have also been successful at making several kills. One kill was right next to our fire pit and the unfortunate victim was our resident male kudu with the broken horns (which upset the managers and staff somewhat), but the sighting it provided soon put it into perspective for all. A small pride of two females and four cubs is being seen more frequently on the island and we are all hoping that they make Hunda Island their new territory.
Numerous herds of elephant have been seen, with the biggest numbering around 50, providing our guests with hours of entertainment. Two hippo have moved into the floodplain in front of the camp and most evenings they are seen feeding in front of the bar, proving you don’t have to go too far to experience the wilderness on safari!
Birds and Birding
Bird sightings have been amazing in the Jao Concession this month, with the approaching water bringing in an abundance of food. A pair of wattled cranes and their chick spends most of the day foraging for food in the floodplains in the front of the camp. Several saddle-billed storks join the cranes in their daily search for food. Each morning large numbers of hooded and white-backed vultures and marabou storks land on the edge of the water to bath and then spread their wings out to dry. We have also seen a pair of crimson-breasted shrikes leaping and darting from tree to tree in the camp – always a wonderful sighting!
Staff in Camp
Managers: Bryan Webbstock, Theresa Fourie, Ian Burger, Michelle Burger, Kg Mapila, Gloria Amos, Mark Nicholson, Madelein Swanepoel
Guides: Joseph Makhulosekopo, TK - Thokomelo Saxhago, KG- Kgaga Kgaga, Bee-Bolatotswe, Seretse Xaeko