Jao Camp - October 2017

Oct 13, 2017 Jao Camp
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Weather and Landscape
A mild and somewhat different October has come and gone and has left us wondering if the weather patterns are changing. We did get a hint of what Mother Nature can deliver in October with temperatures reaching 42° Celsius, but for the rest of the month we experienced mild temperatures. Some mornings there was a distinct chill in the air and warm fleeces were the order of the day. One night we had to use hot water bottles, a first for many of us out here who have experienced previous Octobers.

The water levels have dropped quite considerably which has resulted in the boating activity to Hunda Island being closed for the season. The island is now accessible by road which has brought a new and exciting element to the trip over to Hunda.   

Wildlife and Birding
Game viewing was top drawer this month. The water having dropped considerably has opened up the area for large herds of elephant to move back and grace us with their presence. In amongst the large herds of elephant we saw a number of new-borns and it is infinitely entertaining watching them go about exploring their new world. The red lechwe have started lambing too, with a few new born youngsters seen from camp.

Three male lions have moved into the area and caused chaos with the resident lionesses and their cubs. The males spent the last few nights in and around camp making their presence known by roaring through the night.

Two honey badgers were seen running around on the floodplain in front of Jao. One can only imagine what mischief they are up to. A small, stocky and very inquisitive mammal with no fear of any creature out in the bush, honey badgers always an exciting sighting.

Leopards were seen on Hunda Island and heard in and around camp most nights during the month.

Sitatunga were seen on most boating activities. These shy aquatic animals are always a privilege to see.

Birds and Birding
The birdlife has been amazing. With water levels dropping the fish are trapped in small pools creating a feast for the birds. The Delta never ceases to amaze one when it comes to birds. We have been privileged to see and hear the resident pair of Pel’s fishing-owls in camp. This bird is always at the top of the avid birder’s “twitch list”. 

Camp Activities
Thato was fortunate to be invited by one of our guests to accompany him on a scenic helicopter flight over the Delta. They flew over Chief’s Island and saw rhino and sitatunga, to name just a few of their great sightings. She also went out on a boating and fishing activity with guests where they tried their hand at landing a few tigerfish – with no luck though.

Malcolm went out on a mokoro activity – a real Delta experience which all who venture out here must experience.

Staff in Camp
Managers: Malcolm Peacock, Michelle Burger, Charl Berg, Okker Stoltz, Vivian Beukes, Thato Phala, Reuben Lesole, Marina Lunga.

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