Climate and Landscape
Compared to last year, the month of June was not very cold here at Kalahari Plains; rather we had fairly manageable temperatures that fluctuated from day to day. The mornings and evenings were chilly but it warmed up quickly after sunrise on most days. The lowest temperature we recorded was -5° Celsius on some nights while it went up to 30° C in the afternoons.
At this time of year the groundcover on the open plains is uniformly golden from the dried grasses – magical to see at dawn or dusk. A good number of the acacia tree species are still amazingly green also, as the sun has not been harsh enough to dry them out. Most of the wild melons and cucumbers are still fresh while a few fruits like the balsam pear keep our local herds of herbivores around.
A big herd of springbok spent the whole month on the big pan, being sighted on every morning and evening safari. Gemsbok (oryx) antelope were also fairly abundant, seen grazing on the pans, though in smaller herds; wildebeest were seen too.
Since mid-June giraffe showed up a couple of times at the camp waterhole and in Deception Valley we saw red hartebeest once in a while. Other resident fellows sighted busily going about their daily activities included bat-eared foxes foraging and digging out insects, with black-backed jackals also keeping up the competition.
To our advantage, the biggest predators in the wild, namely lions, were seen several times. In the mornings the Plains Pride was seen on occasion trying to hunt oryx on the big pan together with their males.
Three adult male cheetahs also made our safaris a success when they bumped into the dominant male lions several times, giving quite the show of teasing these lions with their speed.
We also sighted a male leopard at Deception Valley which seemed to have just eaten a bat-eared fox, as we found only the remains of the head.
Birds and Birding
While awaiting our migratory species, our local species have been doing well – these include kori bustards, goshawks and secretarybirds while some vultures have started incubating their eggs now.
Staff in Camp
Managers: Wax, Dinny, Wame, Langton
Newsletter by guides Andy, Kabo, TK, Niq