Climate and Landscape
Quintessential winter mornings in the Zambezi Valley see mist covering the Kahila Mountains across the river in Zambia, with the sunrise adding its golden tinge. The lions roar and hippos grunt in the background, reminding us why Mana Pools is a World Heritage Site.
June was an interesting month for us with lots of special sightings. We had many elephant coming into camp for the torchwoodand winterthorn acacia fruits that fall thanks to the wind, monkeys and baboons. This in turn attracts browsers such as kudu, eland and impala. Surprisingly, even waterbuck love these protein-rich ‘cookies.’
For three days, a pair of leopard was sighted mating in the Ruckomechi Riverbed. Then, three new male lions, which seem to have taken over from the previous resident male lion, wasted no time in passing on their genes when they were also spotted mating with our resident females over a period of a week.
Tending to spend more time in the mopane woodland hunting impala and kudu, means that we had a rare sighting of a solitary cheetah.
Big herds of eland and buffalo spent most of their time between Parachute Pan and Second Cathedral in the mopane forests. Small carnivores such as honey badger and civet, as well as white-tailed, dwarf, slender and large mongooses, large-spotted genets were not to be outdone.
Crocodiles basking in the sun and hippos yawning, seen from sunset Zambezi cruises, were a delight to watch.
Birds and Birding
The bird sightings were great too with various birds of prey found in the area including a juvenile martial eagle, western banded snake-eagle, and Wahlberg’s and tawny eagles, with a lot of juvenile guineafowls, Swainson’s and Natal spurfowl providing meals for these raptors.
Though the woodland kingfishers and carmine bee-eaters have departed we have welcomed African skimmers and witnessed the rising population of openbill and yellow-billed storks and cattle egrets.
The seeds from the Indigofera tinctoria have attracted red-billed quelea in numbers while wattled starlings and wattled lapwings are in the area and we are enjoying watching the chestnut-backed finch-larks breeding. It has been interesting to see the red bishops without their dramatic red and black breeding colours.
“The entire experience was fantastic! We would definitely love to return.”
“Encounters with elephants, lions, sundowner by the river.”
“We saw a herd of elephants chasing two male lions. The staff were wonderful, Honest was very helpful.”
Staff in Camp
Trainee Manager: Ishmael Nzara Guides: Honest Siyawareva, Engelbert Ndlovu