Climate and Landscape
The mornings continued to be chilly thanks to the breeze, though by lunchtime all the jackets were off. The evenings also started to get colder, especially with the cold wind coming through at dinner. Night photography is at its best at this time of year and the beautiful dark sky shows off its most radiant and brightest stars. The water has receded dramatically and our island has become much bigger, allowing us to drive around more.
Even though the water levels are receding, red lechwe were plentiful in front of Kwetsani, as were impala and some kudu. Hyaena still roam the open floodplains and stir up trouble in camp at night, keeping us on our toes as we try to keep them away from the kitchen and bins.
We heard the lions roaring in the distance in the early hours of the morning and very late at night over the last few days of the month – sending chills down everyone’s spine. We have a young male leopard that has marked his territory in camp and roams the area every night; however, he is very seldom seen and is quite skittish.
Hippo roam around camp, especially at night, and were seen grazing in front of camp. Often we would hear them grazing at night too, while walking back to our rooms, and sometimes we would even find one sleeping underneath a guest tent.
Predators like leopards and lions have been roaming Hunda Island freely and were sighted frequently this month; however, one particular cat highlight that stood out for us was a cheetah! We don’t usually find them on the island but recently we have we spotted one on Hunda, sightings which have left guests in awe. It got even better watching the cheetah take down a red lechwe just before sunset!
While setting up a bush dinner out in the wild we encountered some hyaena which, being inquisitive and wondering what we were doing in their space, ventured relatively close to us. With the moon illuminating a beautiful night sky, the evening culminated in a very evocative experience when the hyaena started calling right next to us.
Meanwhile the smaller animals are not to be forgotten… with our mongoose family in and out of camp, they keep us thoroughly entertained making appearances during guest orientations.
Birds and Birding
With the water receding we have spotted more and more egrets trying to cram into the small puddles of water that are left. It is absolutely mesmerising to watch them all fly away together, turning the skies into flashes of white. African fish-eagles are often seen at the top of trees watching every move. Always a safari classic, lilac-breasted rollers call from our marula trees while blacksmith lapwings were heard calling late into the night as well.
Staff in Camp
Guides & Managers: Sarika Ramjee, Daniel Myburg, Dennis Smith, Kgaga Kgaga, Moyo Kapinga