Climate and Landscape
We had a cold start to spring here at Desert Rhino Camp. At the beginning of September the flowering of the pungent shepherd’s bush announced the end of winter and the start of spring. For most of the month we had cool weather with an odd day or two that was hot. But what surprised us most were the several days of extreme cold we experienced.
“100%.” That was once again the success rate of all rhino tracking expeditions for the month. All new-born rhinos from 2015 are doing very well and growing fast. There is a mysterious female rhino that gave birth this month but her ID is still unknown as she has chosen very inaccessible places to remain for the moment. So far we have only glimpsed her tracks and that of the calf. Her tracks always lead into thickets within the Uniab where one cannot even walk!
The Onkara hyaena clan kept us and our guests entertained at the den site. The two youngest members of the clan are starting to get more confident leaving their burrow but still lack the confidence of the other juveniles starting to explore the surrounds of the den.
These spotted hyaena keep us on our toes at Desert Rhino Camp as they visit us nightly to see if everything has been hyaena-proofed – otherwise our furnishings have to stand up to the bite force of the most powerful jaws in the desert.
We also had several desert-adapted elephant families coming into the area, with one well-known herd known as the Floppy Ear Family. The name comes from their matriarch who has a broken ear and a blind eye.
September also provided us with some spectacular sightings of big male lions. One in particular was also recorded at the main Axab Spring where we have mounted a camera trap. The camera also recorded cheetah activity and elephant utilising the spring.
This month we had a tremendous influx of giraffe that provided excellent photo ops and sightings.
“Seeing elephant and lions, rhino tracking, baby hyaenas.”
“Everything from the moment we arrived and were welcomed with singing and everything that happened from then on was enjoyable.”
“Seeing Harry the rhino challenge a young male elephant was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
During September, we welcomed Edward Namitondo to the management team at DRC. We also said farewell to Bennie, one of our guides, and hello to new guide Erwin Kasupi.
Staff started to enjoy vegetables out of the staff village garden. In spite of the fact that they battled insects and ground squirrels they still had something to harvest.
Thanks to great teamwork, the staff also did some bush clearing around the staff village!
Staff in Camp
Queen (Housekeeping manager)
Simon (Maintenance Manager)
Edward (Assistant manager)
Johann (Head Guide), Tamite (Guide), Bons (Guide) and Erwin (Guide)