Climate and Landscape
The blossoming flowers along the game-drive trails do not go unnoticed, with these colourful flowers brilliantly embellishing the bush. Fireball lilies, which were starting to go dry, sprung back to life after it rained towards the end of the month. The grass is green and lush and most of it is starting to tassel, making the roads a paradise of sandgrouse, LBJs (little brown jobs as birders like to say) and doves, the fragrance from the pollen also catching the attention of guests as we drive along the fringes of the plains. Most of the trees are fruiting and flowering – very eye-catching for the visitors looking for birds. Purple flowers from the teak trees decorate the canopies and at the same time provide food for numerous species.
December was a hot month with sky-rocketing temperatures. The lowest temperature this month was 12° Celsius, and the highest being 39° C. Rains came towards month end and quickly made a huge difference in the environment with 55 mm recorded. At times like this it is difficult to believe that Hwange National Park is semi-desert.
Gone are the days when the ‘green season’ was labelled a time of minimal sightings; this is definitely history now as game was seen in numbers and variety all month in the concession. With high temperatures most of our waterholes – rather than the natural pans (which were either muddy of drying) – were frequented by the animals.
Both Madison and Airstrip pans became a mass of elephants and large herds coming to drink at sunset made it a delight for guests to be there for sundowners. Being largely habituated, the elephants meandered around the vehicles, quietly minding their own business.
Stalking predators were spotted a number of times in the area, despite the height of the grass. In all the sightings, males dominated. Photogenic leopards came close to the vehicles and guests made great pictures. It’s true what they say, patience pays off, as guests watched a leopard hunting until it made a successful kill of a steenbok.
All guests who came on safari to Davison’s were able to see lions. All three prides have cubs between the ages of four and twelve months, which make for thrilling sightings. We have seen a great proliferation in the population of these cats, though only two male sightings can be confirmed.
Two different packs of wild dog were seen at Ngamo Plains – the large population of impala and wildebeest leading their calves here definitely makes it the right place to be for these canines. All wild dog sightings were on kills where between one and three impala were taken at once; the packs are so big that they need more than one antelope at a time.
Plains game is still in abundance in our concession.
“Superb location, wish we could stay longer. Need to come back and see new family tent.”
“We loved everything and felt welcome here.”
“Spotting cheetahs at Linkwasha and a memorable full day game drive.”
“The game drives were amazing, a lot more animals than I thought.”
Staff in Camp
Managers: Buhle and Themba Sibanda
Assistant Managers: Marvelous and Tinashe
Guides: Themba, Godfrey, Mike, Paul, Richard and Douglas