Climate and Landscape
It’s a wonderful sight to see the channels and floodplains filling up with water; the water is still rising slowly around camp too. Most of the channels in the interior are still flowing strongly, and the lagoons around the sandy gully area are quite full.
As we progress toward winter, the days are increasingly sunny and fairly warm, although the mornings do have a slight chill in the air. Some days toward the end of the month were a bit windy with the cold fronts starting to move through the area.
Our leopard have been true to their nature this month and the guides have had their work cut out to track down these elusive cats. A highlight on that front was a brief sighting of two tiny cubs near the Three Sisters baobabs – probably around a month old!
Our lions are doing well, with several sightings of the two females and five cubs. They were seen a couple of times on a kill, most notably a wildebeest they had pulled down in the south of the island. The two big males also put in some cameos, but they seem to be wandering far and wide these days and they grace us with their presence only every now and then.
With the water levels increasing, the make-up of the animals on the island has changed a bit as well. Red lechwe are an everyday sight, and breeding herds of elephant are encountered on almost every drive.
Guests have also been lucky enough to see porcupine on a few night drives, as well as honey badgers during the day!
Birds and Birding
The change in season is definitely evident in the behaviour of the birds around camp, as the smaller species are starting to group together in mixed-species flocks. It certainly makes for great viewing, as you can easily pick up ten or so birds in just a few minutes! Seed-eaters generally scratch around on the bare ground, chasing up insects that are then taken by the likes of fork-tailed drongos and ashy flycatchers. As the breeding season is largely over by now, many birds are less secretive and the trees that are losing their leaves make it even easier to tick off some of the smaller birds.
Wattled cranes are an everyday sight from camp, as they patrol the floodplain in search of tasty morsels. Slaty egrets are also common in any flooded area, and a pair of African crakes was seen near the boat station.
Staff in Camp
Managers: Jared Zeelie, Jan Pienaar, Liana Jansen, Philile Hlongwe
Guides: Phenyo Lebakeng, Seretse Xaeko, Maipaa Tekanyetso, Onaletha Radipitse