I need to begin by wishing this beautiful country Botswana a happy Independence Day, as on the 30th of September we celebrated the country's 47th birthday!
Summer is just around the corner and we are enjoying the last few cool days before the heat of October sets in. Temperatures this month have been wonderful with highs of 30 degrees Celsius during the afternoons but lovely cool mornings with an average low of 15 degrees Celsius, making the morning activities an absolute pleasure. The afternoon activities have been warm but comfortable. The Delta waters have receded only leaving some water in the floodplains, thus creating a fantastic spectacle of plains game for the guests to enjoy.
Sightings while out on activity have been phenomenal. Plains game has been rife and all the floodplains in the concession have been inundated with zebra, wildebeest, tsessebe, giraffe, warthog, impala, elephant and buffalo herds in excess of a thousand. This also makes a pleasant drive from the airstrip to camp - I personally timed the time between sightings during a transfer and I can honestly say there was not two minutes between sightings of any game - it is truly spectacular.
Plains game is not all that we have had the honour of experiencing throughout the month. Lion sightings have been regular with guests having seen at least one pride almost every day. We currently have two prides in the area: the Kubu Pride, consisting of four sub-adult males, two sub-adult females and two adult females, who are proving very efficient hunters and have been often seen resting on full stomachs around a buffalo kill. Our other pride, the Eastern Pride which consist of four sub-adults, two adult males and two adult females. We also have a coalition of three large male lions who are cashing in on the lush green plains near the camp as there was a fire in the area a few weeks ago, which attracted an array of different species to graze on the new green shoots of grass.
Surprisingly, although our lion population is growing in the area, we are still enjoying amazing sightings of the resident wild dog pack known as the Golden Pack. They are currently denning with new pups but the location of the den is still unknown. However these efficient hunters have been out and about and seen on a regular basis.
Let us not forget about the leopards in the area. Needless to say they have also all been fully on display - these supposedly elusive cats, have not been so elusive this past month. One resident female known as Selonyana has been seen on many occasions with her young cub that is growing fast. The pair loves to play together and the cub is often seen practising its hunting skills, stalking and pouncing on its mother.
Birding in the area as always has been fantastic and the return of the southern-carmine bee-eaters to the area is always a highlight. The isolated pools of water have also created incredible birding arenas as waterbirds flock to these pools to feed on the isolated fish.
Staff in Camp
Managers: Hamish, Millie, Donald, Charlene, Alex, Annabel, Jared, Kci and Tlamelo.
Guides: Ban, St, Emang, Mork, OB and Russell.
Newsletter by Hamish Henderson and images by Jared Snoyman