Landscape and Climate
Summer is in full swing. The days were very warm, with the maximum temperature reaching 39° Celsius. Around midday, the wind tended to pick up and whirlwinds were visible from the main area as they swept across the open Hwange sands. Night temperatures dropped to around 18° C, which was most welcome.
Some time around mid-month we had a most unexpected build-up of cloud which pushed in from the west. A contrast of dark skies, high winds and rumbling thunder made us think we were in for a thunderstorm, but unfortunately it did not last long and the following morning was clear and crisp again.
Most of the vegetation is dry with few leaves; however, a few teak trees have opened up a whole new aray of lush green leaves.
The highlight for the month (maybe even the year), has to be the two sightings of pangolin! One was seen in the evening crossing the road and slowly wandering through the grass close to the road. The second sighting was a larger pangolin seen at Little Somavundla Pan. Guides went out on their normal morning routine hoping to see something exciting – and they sure did! The pangolin was seen just off the road walking and scuffling around some dead vegetation. Guests spent about thirty minutes with one of Africa’s most endangered creatures… and have the pictures to show for it!
Broken Rifle Pan, which is a watering point on the outskirts of our concession, also saw great activity this month. On one occasion nine lions were sighted, all lined up at the water having a good drink. To add to the excitement, along came not one, but two leopards, wandering towards the pan. However, this peaceful scene did not last long as the lions chased off the leopards – one ran off into the thicker bushes while the other hopped up into a nearby tree!
The herds of elephants have been very impressive lately, with more than a hundred coming down to drink each day. The log-pile hide was a highlighted activity here at Little Makalolo with some guests even getting a splash from the nearby bathing elephants.
Birds and Birding
Sightings were very exciting this month too as the migratory birds began to appear around our concessions. The yellow-billed kites were the first to arrive and they soared through the air dropping down to have a drink at the waterhole in front of camp. All three orioles have been sighted in camp – Eurasian, African golden as well as the ever so chirpy black-headed.
The famous violet-backed starlings also arrived by the dozen, flocking to the bird bath and putting on a spectacular display with their shiny purple and snow-white coats.
Our famous lone pelican is fit and flourishing and seen fishing every morning and evening. The herds of elephant and buffalo frequenting Somavundla Pan do not seem to intimidate him, and, in fact, the disturbed waters help him fish .
“The staff and guides were absoluetly wonderful and welcoming and the elephants were an absolute highlight! I can’t wait to come back! Thank you for everything.”
“Experience of a lifetime! Highly competent staff – great food – our guide Leo was absolutely outstanding!”
“Great staff, great location, amazing drives, great food!”
Staff in Camp
Camp Managers: Kim White and Luke Terblanche
Assistant Managers: Charles Ndlovu and Leonard Mutsvangwa
Guides: Charles, Dickson, Mike, Elias