Ruckomechi Camp - August 2012

Sep 13, 2012 Ruckomechi Camp
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Weather and Landscape
August in the Zambezi Valley is no doubt one of the most exciting months to be witness to the incredibly strong and relentless winds which cause amazing dust storms announcing that spring is round the corner.

With the landscape getting drier, there has been a lot more pressure on the vegetation on the floodplain and surrounding areas, with big herds of buffalo and lots of zebra coming down to the river. There is a lot of dust blowing around now, but the nice thing about August is the trees. We have had some lovely trees coming into flower this month and so adding some colour to the concession. Some of the trees that have stood out, are the long-tail cassia with its lovely pale yellow flowers, the shaving brush combretum with their sweetly scented, white flowers. The flame creepers have also just exploded into flower, effectively draping many riverine trees in a cloak of red. To put the cherry on top, the sausage trees have also started flowering, exposing their brilliant scarlet flowers to the world.

Big herds of elephant continue to be seen in and around camp as they come to feed on the ana tree pods which are currently falling to the ground. These highly nutritious pods are highly prized by elephants, and all other herbivores for that matter.

Lions are seen on a regular basis and the good news is that one of the females in the resident pride has recently given birth to a cub, which has just been introduced to the rest of the pride. Wild dog have been seen occasionally and they too have pups, seven in total.

Herds of eland have been seen, with bachelor herds becoming more common.

With most of the surface water drying up and adequate grazing disappearing, huge concentrations of wildlife have been seen grazing on the floodplains - it's a beautiful sight to see hundreds of zebra, impala, waterbuck and warthog all feeding together, framed by the beautiful landscape.

The night drives have been productive too, with regular sightings of civet, genet and white-tailed mongoose, and even leopard being seen occasionally.

Birds and Birding
The southern carmine bee-eaters have arrived! They have started excavating nesting holes in the riverbank downstream from camp. It is awesome to watch these birds hawking insects from their perches - it is such an explosion of colour. This has been providing our guests with some awesome photographic opportunities.

A plethora of birds are gorging themselves on the flowering wild mangoes and flame creepers, in particular the Meve's starlings.

Although the Cape turtle dove is a very common bird in the bush, impressive flocks of no less than 1000 were seen on most mornings coming for a drink.

A great sighting for the month was the eastern nicator that was seen hawking insects around an elephant's feet as the goliath mammal trod unconcernedly along.

Guest Comments
"The lovely setting and wildlife in and around the camp - a truly unique setting."

"Sunset cruises on the Zambezi. The camp is beautiful - rooms were unique and well appointed. Lots of wildlife right near the camp - seeing lions and watching the elephant swimming in the Zambezi was fantastic."

Staff in Camp
Managers: Carel, Juliette, Gavin, Mina, Sandy and Dan.
Guides: Gadreck, Kevin, Champion and Dharmesh.

Newsletter by Sean, Gaddy and Rachel.

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