Climate and Landscape
Winter has arrived and the icy mornings are set. Temperatures reached as low as 6° Celsius but rose to 28° C on some days and by midday our jackets were off and we were enjoying the sun.
We have been able to see the Milky Way very clearly due to little or no cloud cover. Scorpio constellation was also visible with night photography at its best at this time of year. The water is receding fairly quickly and the land and surroundings are changing rapidly. Sunrises are much later and sunsets are earlier now, so we have been taking full advantage of our sunshine time with longer activities in the mornings.
Hyaena marked their presence in camp every night as we lay awake listening to them whoop away.
Two huge herds of elephants decided to feed in camp, keeping us on our toes as we walked around. The warthog family is also around camp and was seen playing and having mud baths. We also had two male kudu walking around camp along with a herd of impala – they are absolutely relaxed and seem to feel very safe in camp.
One of the most exciting sightings we witness every night is Harry the hippo sleeping between the loo-with-a-view and Tent 4. He seems very relaxed and it does not bother him at all that we are there. He has a lot of scratch marks and a few days ago some new wounds, so we assume he must have been in a fight with another dominant male. There seem to be quite a few hippos in and around camp and some nights we hear them mating.
Hunda Island was blooming with game as usual and we had amazing sightings and kills, from wild dogs chasing a leopard up a tree to observing lions feeding, all in one day. It has been phenomenal.
One particular highlight that stood out for us this month was watching a lion kill, but not just any lion kill. The young lion cubs were learning how to hunt but were not very successful. They spotted a wildebeest and as we were watching this, and their attempts to outrun and grab this wildebeest (which they were not very good at), their mom just jumped out of nowhere and ran after the wildebeest and finally brought him down. The cubs came running towards her and they enjoyed a healthy meal that day.
Birds and Birding
Every morning at breakfast, and later around lunchtime, we have a few Kurrichane thrushes around the dining room trying to pick up the crumbs of whatever they can find. They sometimes try their luck with going for a whole loaf of bread and are soon shooed away by staff.
Ground hornbills were seen engaging with red lechwe out in the open plains in front of camp while a few wattled cranes were spotted at Kwetsani boat station! We have also been able to spot the Pel’s fishing-owl and her chick while on mokoro – always a great highlight for our guests.
Staff in Camp
Sarika Ramjee, Daniel Myburg, Dennis Smith, Kgaga Kgaga, Moyo Kapinga