Climate and Landscape
The bush is now very thin and most of the trees have lost their leaves, while the herds of elephant have reduced some of the trees to stumps creating the new browse-line for the coming year.
The tall grasses have been pushed down and the animal trails are very pronounced in the bush, making it very easy to see game at a distance, not to mention a walking paradise. Some huge trees are still holding onto their few leaves, and in the heat of day these shade spots are frequented by animals, especially elephants, sheltering from the scorching sun, while others stretch out their trunks to get some leaves for sustenance.
The grass in the area is very dry, even the tenacious couch grass which is usually the last to lose its green colour. There is still brittle grass with some green stems in the forest, making it a treat for elephants as they are one of the few animals able to feed on it.
A cloud of haze has engulfed the area and from a distance it looks as if there is a big fire. The horizon is grey, creating beautiful sunset shots for guests having their sundowners.
What a difference between now and the temperatures of previous months as the mercury is beginning to rise and we can feel that we are slowly moving away from winter. The lowest temperature recorded was 6° C and the highest 34° Celsius. The winds picked up towards the end of the month, creating nice carpets of leaves along the roads.
Wildlife activity was outstanding on the Linkwasha Concession this month. Even just around Davison’s Camp there could be more than two herds of elephant leisurely feeding every day. Their movements commence around mid-morning as they come to drink and then take their time feeding. Guest enjoyed the treat as they came to drink at the main area too, somewhat disrupting breakfast proceedings.
At Ostrich Pan in front of camp there were plenty of elephants coming to drink from mid-morning until dark while zebra, impala and baboons became our ‘screen savers’ at camp. The symbiotic relationship of baboons and impala is fascinating to watch; the baboons feed clumsily up in the rosewood trees while the impalas graze on what they drop.
Guests were treated to amazing wildlife sightings this month. A lion kill was seen once and it was particularly impressive to see the lionesses introducing the cubs to possibly their first solid meal. They looked not so much interested in their food as they were in nursing from their mother and playing. Still skittish too, but our guests left the sighting very excited as they were able to make great pictures.
The population of giraffe around camp increased enormously as they also came in to drink at Ostrich Pan; this is because their main food source is depleted (they are predominantly browsers and there are fewer leaves now) and temperatures are RISING. The soft branches are now part of their main diet which makes them frequent visitors to the waterholes to drink.
At this time of year Davison’s Camp is famed for sable antelope and they haven’t disappointed us as they come to drink every day around midday, which forms part of their anti-predation strategy.
“Waking up to lion and buffalo surrounding our tent.”
“Friendly staff, wonderful food and beautiful location.”
“Animals – animals – animals!”
Staff in Camp
Camp Managers: Themba and Bee
Assistant Managers: Marvelous and Tinashe
Pro Guides: Themba, Tsoka Mike, Richard, Paul and Douglas