Savuti Camp - August 2015

Aug 1, 2015 Savuti Camp
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Climate and Landscape
Summer has started its campaign to take over this beautiful area from winter and every day it comes in stronger than before. The minimum temperatures ranged from 5° Celsius at the beginning of the month to 15° towards the end, and the maximum temperature has hit 40° already!

Due to the late rains we had last season we still spot specks of green amongst the dry, brown surroundings but these green patches are becoming fewer and fewer every day!

The channel seems to be at an all-time low and our boat, the Pangolin Express, has been relocated to Kings Pool Camp.

There is an ongoing discussion amongst the staff regarding the channel… will it dry up completely or will it start flowing again soon? Nobody can predict what is going to happen to the channel. Regardless, it’s an interesting discussion of this unique phenomenon.

Almost every single guest that we hosted this month was treated to a leopard sighting – males and females, hungry and full, feasting and hunting, known and unknown. One particularly lucky leopard even managed to get his kill back from a pride of lions that stole it.

The Forest Male graced guests with some spectacular sightings, being one of the only male leopards that is not skittish. Seeing him, the guests could actually comprehend how much bigger a male leopard is than the females.

It was a tough month for Africa’s most successful hunters, the wild dogs. The clan wars are continuing with the Zib Pack still dominating the area, earlier in the month they tracked down the LTC Pack again (which has already been reduced to nine from 18 in a clash a few months ago) and fought them, reducing their numbers to five.

But the LTC Pack wasn’t the only one that lost members. The Zib Pack was the only pack to breed this year, and started off with 17 pups. Their determination to hunt down the other packs took its toll on the pups, four of which starved to death in the three days the adults were away. The other 13 did not have much better luck, and it wasn’t long before the guides could only find five pups, then four, then three, then one and now unfortunately the Linyanti does not have a new generation of wild dog this year, which is a little sad.

Though there is still some good news…

Four lionesses moved into a few bluebushes a mere ten minutes’ drive east of camp. Along with them came four tiny little cubs, barely a few months old. The guests had some amazing sightings of these cubs as they came out of hiding every so often to play with their mother and aunts. When the adults went hunting, the cubs would huddle deep into the bluebushes and keep a wary eye out on the horizon.

On their hunt, the lionesses would cross the camp quite often making soft contact calls to keep in touch with one another.

We also came across two big male lions west of camp. They moved about hunting, following a herd of buffalo, coming into contact with the females and then vacating the area as quickly as they could. I guess they know who the boss is, even in the wild!

Hippo in camp, grazing by the old elephant hide during brunch; elephant drinking and playing in and crossing the water in front of camp; waterbuck and impala seen from the bar and a herd of about a thousand buffalo crossing the channel and chilling out around camp – the game has been brilliant! Even days with no predator sightings were made exciting by the amount of game in and around camp.

Birds and Birding
We hosted a bunch of birders this month and they thoroughly enjoyed themselves, some of them clocking 90 to 100 species in a span of just two days! These included some amazing sightings of secretarybirds, kori bustards, goliath herons, giant kingfishers, wattled cranes and many more stunning sights.

A surprise for everyone was the arrival of the carmine bee-eaters – these migratory birds came into the area during August, almost three months early! But we are not complaining, and are very excited to have them here.

Camp Activities
The clear skies made this the perfect month for sleep outs, and most of our guests opted to do one. Some even heard the lions calling in the middle of the night and others watched a massive herd of buffalo envelope the entire area around them.

Guest Comments
“It is rare to find a place where EVERYTHING and EVERYONE is so close to perfection. From the first moment Savuti more than fulfilled our expectations. Thank you” “Wonderful hospitality, knowledgeable staff, great food and location” “Goodman. What an incredible guide. The best. Such an interesting man with so much information. He has made our stay here ‘simply the best’.”

Managers in Camp
Murray, Kang, Masaka and Jackie

Hope to see you in our part of the woods soon!

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