Climate and Landscape
The yearly inundation has arrived at Vumbura Plains and the roads are filled with crisp clear water while the floodplains are full and glisten in the late evenings, creating a spectacular sunset scene. With the winter season now upon us, the landscape has dramatically changed, creating gorgeous shades of yellow and brown amongst some still very green vegetation.
Winter has been mild so far this year with cool mornings and hot afternoons. There have been a couple of cold snaps… well maybe three, but we have been prepared for them with hot water bottles in the vehicles in the mornings and in the beds at night. Described often by guests as “the best things in the world,” the hot water bottles have been greatly appreciated. But as we always say, you go out on activities in your snow clothes and come back in your bikinis.
The chilly early morning weather at Vumbura has not disheartened anyone, with all guests being enthusiastically out on the vehicles in the morning – rewarded with excellent sightings of lions, lions, lions and more lions. Our three resident prides clearly love the area near camp and almost every day we have heard them calling around camp, most nights for up to four hours at a time. We have also noticed one female has left her pride as she was heavily pregnant, so hopefully we will be seeing some cubs soon. Our coalition of two brothers has also been busy courting various females in the Kwedi Concession, so there could be even more cubs on the way soon.
Our wild dog have begun denning and have moved deep into the mopane woodlands. Our guides have discovered the den but we have closed the area to viewing currently to give the dogs a better chance of survival, so hopefully in the next three months we may be able to sneak a peek at the gorgeous pups.
The coalition of three cheetah that caused all the excitement last month when it was spotted unsuccessfully trying to bring down a male red lechwe is still in the area. We have not given the two sub-adult males and one sub-adult female coalition ID names yet, as we are waiting to see how much longer they will stay in the area, but sightings have been regular and it seems they look settled here… holding thumbs!
Birds and Birding
The waters have also brought out the best in the birds at Vumbura Plains. The pans are full of white-faced ducks, Egyptian geese, grey herons… and the list continues… it is truly a magnificent sight!
Newsletter by Hamish Henderson