Little Makalolo – March 2014

Mar 31, 2014 Little Makalolo
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Climate and Landscape
As we come close to seeing the end of our summer rains, Little Mak is enjoying cooler mornings and drier days. Making up for the diminishing flora is the increasing abundance of fauna frequenting the camp and its waterhole. Whilst nature has kept this water-source well supplied, it won’t be long before our Conservation team has to lend a helping hand.

With a maximum temperature of 36.5° Celsius, and a winter-tempting minimum of 15.7 degrees, we saw an increasing disparity of temperatures throughout the month. Hwange’s late rainfall left tangible evidence along our game and service roads, with a recorded 93 mm falling in March.

Having had a fantastic cheetah sighting on our doorstep as February came to a close, the month started off with a record that was going to be hard to beat. However, with Ngweshla, Ngamo, Back and Scott’s Pans serving as this month’s showcased hotspots, our concession’s lion and cheetah residents certainly came out to play. Whilst a number of our guests were privileged to witness and photograph prides of up to 16 lion, others were blessed with a cheetah take-down and kill.

The trophy however, went to the remarkable leopard sighting just on the boundary of camp, picture-perfected by the bright glow of moonlight as it padded along the open road. Definitely worthy of a big celebration!

While they may not have been around for long enough to see, it was the thought that counts as not one but two sets of lion tracks in and around camp signed and sealed Little Mak’s activity for March, trumping earlier hyaena spoor! Perhaps they were in hot pursuit of the herd of a hundred or so thirsty buffalo that passed by at the break of dawn – itself another doorstep sighting worthy of particular mention.

Wildlife percentages for March
Lion 77%; leopard 7%; eland 74%; wildebeest 100%; Cape buffalo 48%; African wild cat 16%; elephant 100%; roan antelope 13%; waterbuck 97%; black-backed jackal 77%; sable 58%; cheetah 13%

Birds and Birding
With the current water levels as favourable as they are, the birdlife in the area has been a pleasure to see and hear. Our resident family of southern ground-hornbills are usually spotted shortly after dawn, following the red-billed francolins’ early morning wake-up call. They are part of the family and as we watch their chicks mature each day, the heart grows increasingly fonder. Competing for attention this month was a beautiful bateleur, the sighting of which proved to be a highlight for one of our more birding-focused guests. Secretarybirds and grey-crowned cranes were frequently enjoyed during a number of game drives, but the sound of an African fish-eagle calling as the sun dipped below the horizon was the absolute favourite!

Camp Activities
With the start of a new season, the presence of some new faces and the prospect of camp alterations, March was a month of excitement and growth for our Little Mak Team. We said goodbye to Avias and Honest as they began new chapters in the Wilderness family at sister camps and Aimee and Jess joined the team in time for an eventful and busy month of activity.

We hosted a number of surprise bush brunches as well as pizza and sundowner evenings throughout the month, treating some of our guests to a little something out of the ordinary. Madison’s Pan never ceased to amaze with its gorgeous sunsets and elephant-enticing waters. Let’s not forget the pizza oven itself, which, according to a family of New Yorkers produced the best-tasting pizza they’ve ever had!

29 March was a particularly special occasion, where Little Makalolo celebrated Earth Hour with our guests, dining by candlelight after an informative discussion hosted by Arnold Tshipa, our Environmental Officer. It was a cosy and special night for all, where, under the stars of our African sky, we helped make a difference.

Guest Comments
We came to see the animals and that we did. We have the most amazing pictures and memories, but it was the people of Africa that will remain in our hearts forever.
• We had heard that this camp was good, it was not the case...... it was fantastic from the welcome to the goodbye, it exceeded all expectations. We have been on many trips and we would rate this experience the best. From the food, company and sights, we have never experienced a better adventure. We shall recommend this camp to all back home.
• Thank you so much for an amazing time. You were all so welcoming and it truly was the experience of a lifetime!

Staff in Camp
Management: Everard, Buhle, Themba, Charles, Avias, Aimee and Jess
Guides: Charles, Honest, Robert, Godfrey, Livingstone and Douglas
Waiters: Valani, Tawanda, Jabu, Seliot, Emmanuel and Andrew Kitchen: Mayisa, Shepard, Innocent, Benedict, Nathan, Jerry and Mkhize
Housekeeping: Pagiwa, Artwell, Angel, Ernest, Rambo and Nyajani Maintenence: Pious, Mpindi, Norman, Samson


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