Climate and Landscape
The sun is shining… and the weather is good. Spring has sprung! The long-awaited shift in seasons was made obvious by the Kigelia Africana, their green and fresh appearance a stark contrast to the riverine vegetation that has shed its leaves.
And slowly but surely, others such as the Kalahari apple-leaf and knobbly combretum followed suit, with welcome hints of greenery appearing all across the landscape.
Beautiful herds of elephant have continued to enjoy the succulent sedge along the Savute Channel, and we had days where wave upon wave of herds were seen feeding their way past the log-pile hide out in front of camp. This was coupled with the occasional 200-strong buffalo herd also enjoying the graze along the channel past camp.
You will be happy to know our two Channel Females and their five cubs are doing really well and all are looking very healthy. As the cubs’ appetite for fresh meat increases these two lionesses have to hunt more regularly. They have still not quite got it right with the buffalo but seem to have mastered the wildebeest and zebra that have moved into the area. The Channel Boys have been doing their rounds past Savuti Camp to check on one of the two known prides over which they are dominant.
The famous Zib Pack of wild dog brought out an impressive 12 puppies, wow! The pack was seen hunting along the channel just south of Zibadianja Lagoon, from which they take their name. We also saw the smaller wild dog packs around Savuti, one being a breakaway from the Zib Pack, these six often seen dashing past camp in pursuit of healthy impala.
Regarding general game, Savuti sightings were very rich this past month and are only getting better with even more wildebeest, zebra, waterbuck, impala and warthog… the Savute Channel is teeming with variety. We even saw, briefly, roan antelope which have been deep in the mopane forests, drinking from the obviously-drying waterholes.
Birds and Birding
Local birdlife enjoyed some new additions too, in the form of the southern the carmine bee-eaters (back from their winter vacation) and yellow-billed kites.
A great sighting this month was a secretarybird seen building a nest in the phuduhudu grasslands, an ancient clear-river backflow area; obviously a male getting ready to show off his architectural skills to a demanding female. What a beautiful bird.
The bird activity isn’t the only rejuvenation experienced in these parts of the woods; we had a ‘softs’ refurb at Savuti where we updated the décor in both the guest tents and the main area, and the camp is looking smashing! If you have been to Savuti before and loved it, you will fall in love all over again.
We wrapped up the month with a melodious Independence Day celebration in the boma on the last day of the month… and boy, was it joyous!
Staff in Camp