Climate and Landscape
As August progressed, the days became noticeably warmer. Afternoon temperatures reached the low 30s and the maximum temperature for August was 33.4° Celsius. There was a slight chill in the early mornings with the lowest temperature being 13.4° Celsius. The wind picked up every day from mid-morning until mid-afternoon.
With the days warming up and the bush thinning out slowly, the animals were seen relaxing in the shade of the Natal mahogany trees in the heat of the day. The acacia pods continued to fall, causing the herbivores to march from tree to tree in search of this nutritious food.
One of few trees that has remained green over the past few months is the Y-thorned torchwood. This is another favourite delicacy for the elephants while squirrels were seen enjoying mopane seeds and dried wild basil seeds.
The river banks were a hive of activity as this is the only place where animals can access green vegetation and water. Water hyacinth was a regular snack for hippos, plains game and elephants.
August provided our Ruckomechi guests with some memorable wildlife experiences.
The month started off with a lion kill in camp. Six lionesses took down a waterbuck next to a guide’s room before coming to the open area in front of the main deck for an after-dinner drink. Towards the end of the month, guests witnessed lions mating.
On another morning, guests woke up to find a half-eaten impala between Tents 4 and 5. The leopard returned to finish it off the following night. Another special sighting was a leopard attempting to kill a porcupine, but the porcupine stood its ground and the leopard gave up.
Elephants have made themselves at home in camp now that the acacia pods are falling. This has created a lot of excitement for guests at Ruckomechi.
Wild dogs were sighted a couple of times throughout the month.
With the water warming up, the fish are beginning to bite and the biggest catch in August weighed 5.9kg.
Birds and Birding
August welcomed the carmine bee-eaters which have migrated from East Africa. Guests who opt to take a Zambezi River cruise are almost guaranteed to see these striking rose-red birds – along with their cousins, the white-fronted bee-eaters.
Another summer migrant that was seen was the yellow-billed kite. A lot more summer visitors such as the broad-billed rollers, woolly-necked storks and African marsh harriers are expected to arrive in the coming weeks.
“Enjoyed evening rivers cruise and elephants crossing; hippo encounter quite exciting; leopard and lion chases and sightings – everything really! Food was delicious!”
“Beautiful camp nicely decorated, very friendly and helpful staff. A special thanks to Tongo, our guide. And the bubble bath.”
“Thank you all very much, Wilderness Safaris remains the best!”
Staff in Camp
Managers: Dylan and Michelle Assistant Manager: Eddie Trainee Managers: JoAnn and Bhobho Guides: Chris, Nyenge, Kambazvi, Tendai, Temba Gobbi Guide: Kurt