Ongava Tented Camp - November 2012

Dec 5, 2012 Ongava Tented Camp
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Weather and Landscape
This month has been a very hot month, although not as hot as October but the temperatures have not been shy. The humidity has also been higher than the other months and the clouds have been present every day. We were pleased to receive some rain and this brings us hope of what is to come.

The environment has also noticed the change in weather as all the trees are blooming with bright green and tender leaves. Most of the grass species have also started to sprout new growth.

With the changes in the weather and the availability of fresh new grass and leaves, the animal movements have also changed and the sightings at the waterholes have decreased a little. Right after the storms the animals don't bother coming to the waterhole because there is so much surface water available everywhere.

The OTC Pride of lions has been quite active around camp and sometimes has kept everyone awake at night with all the roaring. The cubs are all growing strong and our guests thoroughly enjoy seeing them play about in the mornings.

Rhino sightings have been pretty good as these pachyderms still visit their favourite waterholes regularly. On one occasion, a group of 14 rhino was seen drinking at a waterhole during dusk...making the waterhole look very small. At the beginning of the month, one of the resident rhino cows, known as AuKooi, showed her new calf to us for the first time. We estimate the calf to be around one month old.

Ongava didn't stop with the great and unusual sightings there...a small group of cheetah was encountered, and as the guests were looking at these marvellous felines, a unsuspecting black-faced impala ventured too close - the opportunistic predator sprang into action and lurched at the impala. Luckily for the impala, it was just out of striking distance. This experience highlighted how fast a cheetah can run and the guests were blown away by the speed. While on the subject of hunting, a giraffe was less lucky when it was grounded and killed by three young male lions. The lions fed on this carcass for three days and eventually the smell was too bad to approach closely.

Etosha has also been good and has received quite a bit of rain lately. Etosha always provides masses of wildlife, and this month was no different. The elephants however have been quite difficult to see as they tend to move north once the rains arrive. The large old bulls are still seen around Okaukuejo.

Birds and Birding
The birdlife around camp has been pretty good and there is a marked increase of species as the summer migrants arrive. It seems as the camp area is quite popular for nesting as the southern masked-weavers have arrived in number and the males are frantically building their nests in an attempt to woo a mate. A pair of African paradise-flycatchers has also started to nest around camp, and can be see dashing around collecting bits and pieces.

Guest Comments
"Our first sighting of white rhino, the fun of sunsets, and the opportunity to have dinner with our guide. The numerous sightings of giraffe and seeing red hartebeest for the first time. The communal management with a fun sense of humour and helpfulness, chefs who prepared meals to perfection - these were some of our highlights."

"A special thanks to the chefs for gluten free baking and especially for my birthday cake. A highlight was the excellent guiding by Rio and our close encounter with the lions and rhinos."

"The lions roaring and creating havoc in camp every night. The caracal at the waterhole the one night. "

Staff in Camp
Managers: Silvia Morgante, Corne Cocklin, Inge Kambatuku and Festus Eiseb.
Guides: Rio Aibeb, Leon Basson, Bono Gauseb and Me-Gusto Busch.

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