Weather and Landscape
The weather over the last month has been fairly consistent, with the days hot and sunny and the nights being cool with a breeze. We have had a minimum of rainy and cool days. We have had one big wind storm which looked like it would bring a large amount of rain but it fell on Jao Camp and not on Tubu. We had three days during the month with rain during the late evening and early morning. The humidity has been high most days but has not produced the rain we normally expect for this time of the year. We had a spectacular storm early one morning and all the guests and staff were woken up with thunder and lightning all around camp.
After a month of annual maintenance, we re-opened for guests in the first week of February and the leopard sightings were few and far between. The resident leopards seem to have been moving further afield before the water comes in. The guides were seeing lots of tracks and there was definitely movement but no real good sightings, except a few fleeting glimpses. Towards the end of the month, the sightings have improved and it seems like we are now seeing leopards more regularly. We were fortunate enough to see two leopards out in the open in front of camp from the main area deck one morning. They did not hang around very long and were gone before we had the opportunity to take some photos.
The elephant herds have been all around the camp and not a day goes by without elephants being seen or heard around camp. It is really great to see the elephants in and around camp. They can keep you amused for hours with their human-like behaviour. Most herds have been seen with young calves which always add excitement to any sighting.
The herds of wildebeest and zebra have been in constant attendance each night in front of camp and they obviously find safety from being close to camp. A large number of impala have also taken residence in the camp area, with things becoming exciting as the rut begins and the males become very vocal and territorial.
The resident hyaena clan has been seen on a regular basis, and become particularly active once everyone has gone to sleep in camp. On two occasions, the clan was seen from the bar before dinner.
One of the highlights for the month was when Michelle found two honey badgers near the back-of-house one evening.
A pod of hippo has taken up residence in one of the open pools between the airstrip and camp and is seen on most drives.
Birds and Birding
The water from the annual inundation has finally arrived at Tubu Tree and as I write this newsletter, one can hear the African fish-eagles calling and I can count at least a dozen fish-eagles from the pool deck circling overhead and sitting in the sycamore fig near Tent 3.
There has been a pair of wattled cranes during most days in front of camp and we have seen African openbills and saddle-billed storks in the floodplain as well.
The southern carmine and little bee-eaters are in abundance and they are a joy to watch and are so beautiful.
“Kambango was excellent at explaining everything. Elephants on and near the airstrip – the calves playing together. The baboon jumping up and catching flying termites was really fun to watch. Also the room and the open air showers and the main room loo were quite an experience! A big thanks to Eloise and Hein, both very knowledgeable and helpful. Make sure not to lose Kambango – he’s the best guide we’ve met – very helpful and gentle and he knows everything in the bush but is very humble.”
“A wonderful camp with superb wildlife, leopard on all six drives…7 in total!”
Staff in Camp
Managers: Ian and Michelle Burger.
Guides: GT Sarepito, Kambango Sinimbo and Gibson Kehemetswe.
Newsletter by Michelle