Climate and Landscape
The rain kept Tubu’s managers and staff on their toes this month. One moment it was sunny and touching 40° Celsius, and the next we’d have a storm brewing with staff and managers running in all directions to close everything before the rain came in. Then there would be a downpour as if Noah had just loaded the Ark; this would last for about an hour and then the skies would clear, just in time for the afternoon game drive and to wow our guests with beautiful light for their photos.
November was the month of the wild dogs.
Tubu guests had the pleasure (and luck) of spectacular wild dog sightings this month. Maybe the dogs felt like they owed us some entertainment after being very elusive last month. One early morning the pack was seen showing off while chasing and attempting to catch not only a zebra (which would be quite enough for one meal), but going for some wildebeest as well. All in one go. But they were sent running, tails between legs, when a zebra showed a bit more resistance than they had anticipated, pushing the dogs back from the rest of the herd. This was just as entertaining for the guests as it was embarrassing for the dogs.
The same pack of dogs had a surprise encounter with a herd of elephant. It was hard to tell who had the biggest fright as both species hastily made their way in separate directions. Needless to say, it was an unsuccessful hunt for the dogs.
The dogs did however, have some wildly successful hunts as well. True to their nature, they hungrily pulled apart their prey until it was unrecognisable as an animal and became as a tasty dinner – all witnessed by our guests and their video cameras.
The leopards also didn’t disappoint this month and were spotted regularly by our guests and guides. Sighting a leopard is always a highlight of any guest’s visit to Hunda Island, but sighting two leopards mating is a truly once-in-a-lifetime kind of highlight. This was the case on one occasion during November at Tubu, resulting in very animated and interesting conversation around the dinner table that night.
Some of our guests, who were on their first ever safari, had a nerve-wracking (yet exciting) encounter when two big male lions walked close to their vehicle. It seems the lions just wanted some attention as they showed up to a bush dinner later that month too.
Besides all our spectacular sightings of lions, leopards, elephants and the rest of the animal kingdom, some Tubu guests had another once-in-a-lifetime sighting. Our guides noticed unusual behaviour among some birds and decided to investigate. To their surprise they saw a python had just killed a baby impala. The kill took so much of the python’s energy that it actually had to take a 15-minute rest under a tree before devouring the young antelope inch by inch. Whole.
Birds and Birding
Tubu doesn’t only boast incredible game sightings, but bird sightings as well. This includes seeing a martial eagle hunt this month. The beautiful raptor swooped down from the skies, disappeared for a split second, only to reappear with a spurfowl in its talons. Lucky for our guests to see, not so lucky for the spurfowl.
Two African fish-eagles posed and acted for the perfect photo: they were both perched on a large branch in a dead tree and took flight in perfect sync, one fish-eagle an identical replica of the other. And we have the photo to prove it.
Sometimes it pays just to lounge at the pool, which was exactly the case when some of our guests got to spend some time admiring a marabou stork from very close quarters. It did not however, have a special delivery for that couple.
We had some very excited guests who spotted an otherwise hard-to-find Pel’s fishing-owl at our boat station. Since we don’t have enough water to use the boat station for, well, boating… seeing the Pel’s there is a great reason to visit the area in the meantime – not forgetting the African skimmers and malachite kingfishers that are present around the water sources now too.
Staff in Camp
Guides: Kesentse “Kaizer” Rams, Kambango “Delta” Sinimbo, Kelebeng “Steve” Mahupe, Seretse Xaeko, Maipaa Tekanyetso
Managers: Jared Zeelie, Philile Hlongwe, Ndiwo “Shabba” Masesane , Pierre Cronje, Andriana Botes, Marius Neuhoff, Charity Mpotokwane