“What an amazing, arid landscape,” exclaim many guests upon landing at the Kalahari Plains airstrip!
Climate and Landscape
We experienced cold temperatures during August, sometimes accompanied by mist, and the mercury dropped to as low as zero degrees Celsius at night as well as in the mornings. However, we had some remedies for the cold – our Bush Babies (hot water bottles). Mild to warm temperatures warmed up the days to around 30° C or so.
Kalahari Plains was ‘action stations’ for predators this month, with lion and cheetah dominating the scene as we experienced extensive movement from our local prides.
The Plains Pride consists of six juveniles, three adult females and the Owens Boys (Short Base and Long Base). Short Base is still wandering near and far on his own at the moment, making it a challenge for him to make kills. Most recently he was seen along Korhaan Pan Road with porcupine quills protruding from his mane and front paws – a worrying sight but one that we see more often than you’d think.
The Shy Boys is a coalition of three male cheetah operating within our area and they are seen on regular basis. We had magnificent sightings at Deception Valley of another two male cheetah, and a female cheetah with two sub-adult cubs. We also came across a coalition of two male lions known as the Deception Boys that seem to operate between Deception Pan and Letiahau.
General game was also phenomenal, both at Deception Valley and around camp, and gemsbok (oryx), springbok, wildebeest, steenbok, red hartebeest, giraffe and some interesting smaller carnivores like black-backed jackal, bat-eared fox and caracal were seen.
A most unusual sighting was a caracal with a steenbok kill.
Birds and Birding
We were privileged to witness flocks of Cape turtle doves and vultures soaring overhead at the camp waterhole, displaying their impressive flight patterns.
Kori bustards were also common around Big Pan area. Secretarybirds foraging and some of the more common raptors like southern pale-chanting goshawks, greater kestrels and black-shouldered kites were sighted too.
Sundowners and Stargazing
The Kalahari is one of the best places to enjoy our amazing African sunsets, and the sleep-out decks are a great opportunity for our guests to privately view the night skies after a presentation from the guides on the visible constellations and planets.
The Bushman Walk is consistently one of the best experiences for our guests who have the opportunity to interact with the local Bushman family. They greatly enjoy sharing their rich culture, fascinating bush survival skills and the endlessly intriguing fire-by-friction demonstrations.
Staff in Camp
Managers: Joel, Michael, Tilly, Bonolo, Wame
Guides: Teko, Andy, Kabo, Tsholo
Newsletter compiled by Kabo and Tsholo