Looking back on the month of July, we can’t imagine anything better than waking up early in the morning to melodious birdsong after a night of lions roaring, and heading into the vast, open Kalahari Plains.
Climate and Landscape
We experienced cold temperatures this month with the thermometer dropping to below zero Celsius at night; mornings were also cold, and the landscape sometimes draped with mist. However, our bush babies kept our guests warm on the vehicles and in their tents overnight. During the day, the mild to warm temperatures saw the mercury rise to 30° C and more.
We had phenomenal sightings this month including observing extensive movements from our local lion prides. The Plains Pride (which consists of six juveniles and three adult females) is sometimes joined by the dominant Owens Boys (Short Base and Long Base). The Bushman Pride, which was part of the Plains Pride, consists of two adult females and three sub-adults. Both prides were sighted in the area between Khudu Pan, Mophane Patch and Big Pan.
We also had some intruders in our area: two big males were seen at Kalahari Plains Camp’s waterhole giving one of the Owens Boys, Short Base, a hard time as the latter was seen running across the plains fleeing from the two nomads.
We also had beautiful cheetah sightings; among them, a coalition of three brothers, known as the Shy Boys – however they are not so shy anymore. They have been operating between Khudu Pan and Big Pan to the east and west of camp.
Other great sightings were recorded in Deception Valley with good numbers of gemsbok (oryx), springbok, bat-eared foxes, red hartebeest, wildebeest and much more in terms of predators like leopard, cheetah and lion.
Birds and Birding
We were privileged to witness flocks of vultures soaring overhead at the camp waterhole, creating amazing flight patterns.
Kori bustards were also regularly seen around the Big Pan area.
Foraging secretarybirds and some of the more colourful birds like crimson-breasted shrikes were seen around camp.
The Kalahari, with its beautiful, arid landscapes and crystal clear skies, is one of the best places to enjoy an African sunset.
Star gazing is exceptional too with beautiful night skies and the flat surroundings providing horizon-to-horizon space to watch and learn about the different constellations, all with African stories attached.
Equally amazing, the outdoor star deck offers guests an unforgettable experience of the night sky.
A highlight of boma night is our Bushman staff singing and dancing which forms part of their culture. Dressed in traditional attire, rattles on their feet, beads around their necks and antelope horns on their heads, their beautiful voices and rhythmic clapping confirm the musical gift bestowed on Bushmen.
A walk with some of the members of the Bushman family in the Kalahari is also a top cultural activity. Here they impart knowledge – from their use and playing of traditional instruments to games like “Steenbok and Thunder.” They also elaborate on their hunter-gatherer lifestyle and show guests how to creating fire through friction . A beautiful sunset stop along the way home is always most welcome after this fascinating excursion.
Staff in Camp
Managers: Wax, Dinny, Langton, Adrian and Jackie
Newsletter compiled by guides Kabo K, Tsholo and Nicholas NIQ Shomanah [JB-WS1]I have a video of a guest making fire, though it is from August so I don’t know if you want to wait til next month’s newsletter?