Climate and Landscape
Many of the trees away from the river still showed little signs of life, especially the mopane. However, in the jess bush and riverine areas, some semi-deciduous trees are flowering, especially the woolly-caper bush, shaving-brush combretum, wild mango and rain tree. These trees provide an amazing aroma in the early mornings and at night when the air is still.
Many other wild flowers such as vernonia, Mexican poppy, thorn apples, blue commelina, water hyacinth and flame creepers attract lots of insects.
The September temperatures were quite bearable, with mornings of 23° Celsius recorded as early as 6:30 rising to 36 ° C by the afternoon, before dropping to 21° C in the evening, allowing our guests to get a good night’s sleep.
The month of September saw numerous water pans drying up, creating a huge influx of game coming to drink at the main channels and spending more time in the Zambezi floodplains.
With nowhere to find water, large herds of eland have been coming out of the mopane woodland to drink while herds of buffalo could be seen in the adrenaline (vetiver) grass. Baboons and impala looked after each other as they all enjoyed the seed pods, the antelope feeding on ‘leftovers’ dropped by the baboons – at this time of year every animal has a role to play in dispersing the seeds before the rains come.
In camp guests had incredible interactions with elephants at siesta time when the elephant would come to feed on the nutrient-rich acacia pods, whether at the guest tents, the plunge pool or the main area.
Evening back-of-house walks with guests were undertaken to see honey badger, civet and serval close to the main kitchen.
One evening dinner was interrupted when guests left their meal to watch two male lions moving majestically through our car park.
Lions stalking waterbuck in front of Little Ruckomechi during guests’ continental breakfast and wild dogs chasing impala soon afterwards were just one aspect to the exciting sightings of a morning. Not to be outdone were four hyaena, seen one morning walking through camp several times trying to locate the smell of a carcass, possibly from a leopard kill.
We had the best predator sightings this month with some game drives under 3 km from camp producing lion and leopard, as well as buffalo and elephant, and of course not forgetting hippo.
A few summer migrants have already arrived in Mana Pools and these include African skimmers, red-winged pratincoles and southern carmine bee-eaters; lots of swallows and martins are already here and nesting.
In mid-September a flock of white storks was sighted at the Crocodile Pools area – an unusual sighting as this time of year is still a bit early for them.
The pytilias, firefinches, queleas and doves tended to spend their time closer to the floodplains.
The abundance of predator kills resulted in amazing vulture sightings with avian pirates such as the African fish-eagle, African hawk-eagle, African harrier-hawk, lanner falcon, peregrine falcon, African goshawk and numerous owls being seen in the bush and around camp.
“The new camp is amazing, the staff and experience are exceptional. Best bush experience.”
“Elephant in the camp, various lions in perfect light, romantic sun downer at the Zambezi River.”
“When I was lying by the pool an elephant came and drank from it.”
The staff and our guides truly helped make this a very memorable safari. Beautiful property, wonderful wildlife viewing and great food – sometimes too much.”
Staff in camp
Manager: Ishmael Nzara
Guides: Honest Siyawareva, Engelbert Ndlovu