Climate and Landscape
The fresh grass shoots are beautiful, as are the flowers starting to bloom in the plains, along the roads and in the forest. Roadside pimpernels peep out along the tracks like a lion’s eyes, while the fireball lilies are bright red, just like real fireballs. Green blades of the different types of grasses now cover what until recently looked like a desert.
There is enough browse and graze for the animals, everything is green with life and the game is having the best time as their food is lush and tender. Patches of water are seen almost everywhere thanks to the rains; the animals need not walk great distances now for water and there is less traffic at the waterholes. Pressure is greatly eased now as the animals have a chance to spread out and look for food. By so doing this gives the damaged areas a chance to recover.
What an interesting weather pattern we observed in Hwange National Park with fluctuating temperatures all month. Guests utilised the ponchos and their jackets as the temperatures dropped at night through to the mornings. However, during the day it was so hot that nobody thought of jackets, only the swimming pool. The lowest temperature this month was 15° Celsius and the highest 38° C. Our first big rains of the season brought 23 mm to Davison’s and even more to the areas around our camp.
What a productive month we had with great animal sightings in the area. Most of the animals are sporting some young, a wonderful sight of new life. The impala started dropping their lambs in the middle of the month, and analysing their births revealed that they were earlier this year when compared to previous years. Most of the herds around the area disappeared for some days then emerged leading their little ones.
Different prides of lion were seen in the area, with one pride’s population having increased by three little cubs. Guests were extremely excited when one of the females led the game drive vehicle to where their tiny, chubby cubs were hidden. It was particularly astonishing to hear the mother calling them, then come out of the bush and nurse. The babies were shy and clumsy, trotting over to their mother who was already lying down to allow them to suckle. Guests marvelled at the opportunity to experience this.
Sightings of the elephant herds reduced somewhat with the arrival of the rains and we saw them dispersing to other parts of the park. However, we still see good populations of them feeding in the forest. Large herds of buffalo still frequent the camp, thanks to the excellent graze behind Davison’s continuing to attract them. No wonder the camp always has good predator numbers.
The wild dogs were spotted a number of times in the area, and the puppies are growing fast as there is more than enough food for them. Mother Nature is amazing: they were born at the perfectly right time. Most of the sightings were of the dogs on kills or just after feeding. These well-fed, beautiful dogs are so lucky not to have lost any of their young ones this season.
General game in the area is still very good too, and with the summer migrants arriving, the bird sightings are better than ever.
“Birding with Themba, seeing the Eurasian hobby. Warm welcome from Bee and the team.”
“We loved our stay, extremely friendly staff, meals and our guide Douglas. Great nature. If possible will come back.”
“Having Douglas as our guide, excellent staff. Lioness on prey. Fun in the rain.”
“Amazing dinner on the deck, getting to know all the staff and seeing the leopard.”
Managers: Buhle and Themba Sibanda
Assistant Managers: Marvelous and Tinashe
Guides: Themba, Godfrey, Mike Paul, Richard and Douglas