What a September it was at Savuti Camp, with the temperature climbing at an alarming rate to a maximum of 44° Celsius, dropping to a minimum of 15°. There is no rain in sight… well not at this point. In any case the news we have received is that we are in for a long dry summer with below-average rainfall expected. The Savute Channel is currently 30 cm lower than it was this time last year so now we are all wondering if we will be returning to the period before 2008 when the channel was dry – when the channel will disappear again. Time will tell….
What a month it was for the Zib Pack of wild dog. They started off with 17 pups but unfortunately not one survived – a great shame as they had a 100% success rate last year. It seems that this pack has only one thing in mind and that is to ensure that there are no other packs on the concession – but in doing so, the progeny of this year were sacrificed.
The lions are moving back into the Linyanti and are bringing their young with them. Just five minutes from Savuti one of the DumaTau females has been taking care of her four three-month-old cubs while the aunts are out looking for food.
There are two new males on the concession which have taken up residence near Savuti, apparently following the large herds of buffalo arriving here. I have never seen so many buffalo in the Linyanti… at one point there was a herd near camp which was close to 1 000 strong.
The leopards did not fail to disappoint and were seen on a regular basis, some with cubs and the others enjoying the solitary life that they prefer. The Rock Pan Female’s two cubs are getting bigger and bigger and have been seen a few times out with their mom, learning the art of hunting.
Mmalebadi and her cub were seen near Mopani Bridge feeding on an impala and were then seen later on as the cub suckled from her mother.
Excitingly, a herd of roan antelope has been hanging around Tumo’s Pan and sable have been seen more regularly along the Savute Channel. Both these antelope species are rare sightings and therefore wonderful sightings for both guests and guides.
As well as having so many buffalo on the concession we also have tonnes of elephant – literally. As the surrounding areas get dry, herds of the pachyderms are seen throughout the day coming down to the Savute Channel to have a refreshing drink, much to the joy of our guests having their brunch or just relaxing during siesta time.
Birds and Birding
The carmine bee-eaters have started to nest in the same spot as last year and it looks like their numbers have increased. Each year the carmines come back to the Linyanti to lay their eggs and to get ready for the next part of their journey. The nesting site is a fair drive from Savuti Camp but it is an exceptional sighting for those willing to undertake the expedition.
Owls have been seen in camp ranging from the biggest – Verreaux’s eagle-owl – to some of the smallest – pearl-spotted and barred-owlets.