Weather and Landscape
The weather this month has been wet and unpredictable. We have had lovely mornings with late afternoon showers and thunderstorms. The clouds build up throughout the day, dumping on us from around tea time at 4pm. This is not an everyday occurrence but we have experienced fantastic electrical storms almost every evening. Temperatures have been wonderful and cool.
The rain has not dampened our guests’ spirits nor the game viewing and activities on offer here at Vumbura Plains. The abundant rain has kept the landscape green and luscious and the concession is truly looking magnificent. The clouds and storms have made for beautiful scenery and the contrasting light has been wonderful for landscape photographers, providing amazing scenes of wildlife battling nature’s elements. Sunrises and sunsets have been absolutely superb with clouds adding to the beauty. This season is a scenic time of the year to be at Vumbura Plains.
The sightings on the game drives have been diverse and exciting. We have been fortunate to have lions near camp, a resident pride of seven making regular visits to the area, so we have not had to travel far to witness them in action. One of the large males has begun courting a female so we are hoping that in four months we’ll have new cubs in the area.
Wild dog have also been very active in the area, making for exciting chases seen from the vehicle as they hunt in the vivid green lands. I have heard many stories recently that the dogs are far more active in the current temperatures: something to bear in mind if you are thinking of travelling here at this time of year.
General plains game in the concession as usual has been phenomenal. Many areas are fields crammed with zebra, impala, wildebeest, giraffe and tsessebe. Buffalo herds over 500 strong have also been sighted regularly.
This also goes for the birding. The birds of the Delta have been vibrant and plentiful. I was personally lucky enough to see a martial eagle with a water monitor kill whilst on an airstrip transfer a few days ago.
I also had the opportunity of visiting the new hyaena den in our area. If you think hyaenas are ugly, you should see them when they are young. They are adorable!
An update on last month’s newsletter: We had a wonderful sighting of a female cheetah with her gorgeous cubs. Unfortunately this month we have not seen her. The cheetah in this area seem to remain as elusive as pangolins even though there are many areas that are perfectly suited for them. We do believe that it may be due to our current large population of lion, and the amount of ground they are regularly covering.
Staff in Camp
Guides: Ron, ST and Emang
Managers: Hamish, Millie and Lorato
Newsletter and pictures by Hamish Henderson