Xigera has seen many people coming through to enjoy some peace, tranquillity and serenity this last month. Although most left having felt the true relaxation that is found in the heart of the Delta, excitement has definitely not been scarce.
The water level around the island has risen as a result of the inundation this year. Although not as high as we have become accustomed to in prior years, we have found ourselves doing more water-based activities due to the large and deep pools of water that have formed on some of our roads.
It is gradually getting colder around camp with the lowest temperature of 15° C, yet our nights spent around the campfire after dinner have definitely been most entertaining as we listen to the hippo munching and bellowing to each other. The days have proved to be hotter however, with 35° C reached two days in a row and thus ensuring that the siesta times have been spent whiling away the hours by the pool.
The “Xigera Daily Mail” (the sandpit placed on the bridge between the island on which Xigera is located and the larger neighbouring island) has had some good news in recent mornings. Spotted genets and Cape clawless otters have filled up most of the 'pages', but one particular morning we had a set of female leopard tracks clearly imprinted in the sand and coming on to our little island. The ensuing night was filled with alarm calls from the resident bushbuck, kudu, baboons, monkeys and a variety of birdlife. The following morning once again clearly depicted her crossing over the bridge and back on to the bigger island.
We have had some exceptional sightings of a pair of otters right from our star-deck. This lovely pair don't seem to be shy of a little human company, and have been giving delightful water acrobatic displays for those fortunate enough to spot them.
One of our dinners was also interrupted by a slightly curious elephant that seemed quite intent on making sure that he was the in-house entertainment for the night. His eating habits were put on display for us to see, and he made quite sure that we had to work hard to get around him on the walkway, just to serve the meal!
A Pel’s fishing-owl has been spotted regularly on the island across from the camp this month. Although slightly far out, binoculars brought it close up; it even basked on a termite mound in the last golden rays of sunlight the one afternoon! The lesser jacana has also been spotted multiple times, close to our Xigera Mokoro Trails camp.