Climate and Landscape
What an incredible summer this has turned out to be. Compared to previous years when the wildlife migrated deep into the mopane forest and game was scarce after heavy rains, this year has been very different and exciting. Big herds of elephant roam the area, and lion, leopard and wild dog were sighted regularly, especially the latter with their colourful coats contrasting against the green vegetation, allowing us to quietly appreciate their beauty.
The weather was very comfortable, with constant cloud cover cooling the day’s heat and allowing guests to enjoy an extended game drive. Those that were really keen could consider a full day trip, exploring a bigger portion of the Linyanti Concession. There were occasional full days of rain, but guests were very understanding, being “very happy for the soil,” they said.
The landscapes are beautifully dressed in bright and varied colours from the local seasonal flowers, with the colourful migratory birds singing happily and seen feeding on the nectar – what a delight for landscape- and bird lovers.
As mentioned, wildlife viewing has been really good this month, despite a few quiet days every now and then. More often than not we got lucky and saw huge herds of elephant in and around camp and out on game drives.
The lion population seems to have climbed this month as the Channel Pride, sighted at the Chobe Airstrip, introduced the newest members of its family to the Linyanti. They had killed a wildebeest just north of the airstrip and spent a few days relaxing there after feeding.
The LTC Pride spent time to the east of Kings Pool this month, and was once seen from a staff recreational drive as the lions chased a resident male leopard, treeing him for a while at the Kings Pool staff soccer pitch. They were also heard calling at night, marking their territory, and are in good shape, with the cubs now almost a year old and surviving the mortality battle.
We suspect the alpha male and female of the LTC Pack of wild dogs have been mating. We saw them a fair amount of times but they would generally disappear into the bushes, heading south-east of Kings Pool camp, to an area we suspect they have used in the past for denning in the winter. This group did not do well raising their puppies last year and we hope this year will be more successful, especially with their movements indicating they’ve moved towards their old denning area rather than where they denned last year.
Birds and Birding
Birdlife was a major highlight this month with all the summer migrants flying around with their chicks, while others are already preparing for their migration in a few months once winter hits us. The area is full of different kinds of raptors, fish-eagles, kingfishers and many bee-eaters. A birder’s paradise indeed.
While there is lots more to share, we hope this letter sums up an amazing month of wildlife in and around Kings Pool, and we look forward to an even more productive and exciting March.
Staff in Camp
Managers: Tshepo Phala, Olefile Sefofu, Nic Semple
Guides: Reuben Kaye, Evans Keowetse and Bobby Rakaru