Climate and Landscape
With the days warming up and the bush slowly thinning out, the animals have been relaxing in the shade of the Natal mahoganies during the heat of the day, making sightings much easier. Acacia (albida) pods continue to fall causing the herbivores to march from tree to tree in search of this fruit.
One of the few trees that has remained green over the past few months is the y-thorned torchwood, so it is naturally a great delicacy for the elephants; squirrels were seen enjoying mopane seeds as well as dried wild basil seeds. The river banks are a hive of activity as this is the only place where animals can access good green vegetation and water hyacinth was a regular snack for the hippo, buffalo and elephant.
The days are most definitely warming with temperatures reaching the mid- to high 30° Cs, though there is still a slight chill in the air in the late evenings. The August winds have definitely picked up and we had numerous windy days and nights with a fair amount of dust.
Game sightings were spectacular over the past month with most of our guests seeing lion at least once during their stay. These cats had a fantastic buffalo kill on the ridge at the back of the concession which allowed for an excellent opportunity for guests to experience the pride feeding.
Boswell, the collared elephant, visited our concession on a number of occasions, generating a lot of interest from all our guests. With the winds picking up, the elephants spent many days in camp, bringing their little ones with them – a cause for great excitement among our guests. An elephant who we know as Warthog frequently used the main entrance onto the deck in search of acacia pods. Another common sighting at meal times was the herds of elephant swimming across the river to the islands.
On more than one occasion the airstrip proved a prime spot to view game and new arrivals were often greeted by the pride of lions, while just recently a pack of wild dogs, including 10 puppies, was seen here too. One group of guests was privileged to view two cheetah relaxing in the heat of the day under a tree at the airstrip.
Birds and Birding
As always bird sightings were nothing short of phenomenal thanks to our riverfront setting. There were some fantastic ticks, including carmine and white-fronted bee-eaters. There has been an increase in sightings of malachite kingfisher too – always a stunning bird to see.
The migration has also brought Okavango Delta specials including rufous-bellied herons and long-toed lapwings to our area. The fluctuating flow of the river has affected the African skimmers, forcing them to continually change their nests as the riverbank is not stable.
“A stunning experience we won’t forget. Breathtaking, out of this world. We will sure be coming back. Chris was a legend. A huge thank you to all. The kiddies loved every moment. The luckiest kids alive. Big Hugs.” “Thanks to the entire Ruckomechi team for a memorable stay. The final leg of our 35th wedding anniversary trip. Special thanks to Tongo for the extra effort in making our game drives outstanding, and Nyenge for imparting his vast knowledge(especially of the sausage tree) and Temba for standing guard whilst we slept in the tree tops. All the best to everyone.”
Staff In Camp
Managers: Dylan and Michelle
Assistant Manager: Eddie
Trainee managers: Amy Goosen, Thys Olivier
Guides: Chris S, Nyenge Kazingizi, Engelbert Ndlovu, Kambazvi Mundoga, Tendai Marufu, Temba Ganje.