Tubu Tree Camp – May 2014

May 31, 2014 Tubu Tree Camp
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Climate and Landscape
The month of May at Tubu Tree Camp was noticeably cooler than April, with the nights becoming chillier as time passed. The wind started to blow in the early morning hours towards the end of May. The daytime temperatures are still warm and pleasant, as are the evenings. There were a few days during the month where there was cloud cover but no rain fell.

The Delta waters continued to rise during May, with some areas now becoming less accessible. The overall game viewing is still great and we have had a number of excellent sightings during the month.

We have had wonderful sightings of our female leopard and her cub, the little one becoming more curious and inquisitive by the day. Our guests spend many hours watching the antics of the cub and its interaction with its mother, and leave with great photographs and videos.

One of the managers was lucky enough to see a leopard stalking a lechwe in front of Tubu Tree one evening. The leopard was unsuccessful in its endeavour and the lechwe did not become dinner. Another of the managers, while waiting for a plane to land, watched a leopard walk across the airstrip just as the plane landed. The leopard was unperturbed by the plane and simply lay down next to the airstrip and waited for it to move past, then got up and continued to cross the airstrip, quite unfazed.

The two male lions that we saw in April were not seen as much during May – they appear to have moved south and only venture into the Jao Concession once in a while.

The numerous large elephant herds are still much in evidence and have given guests good sightings, even in camp where they come right up to the main buildings of Tubu Tree and Little Tubu, as well as the guest tents.

We have had good sightings of general game with a large resident herd of lechwe seen on the floodplain in front of Tubu Tree Camp as well as a few lone male buffalo that are seen regularly.

Guests were lucky on late afternoon and evening game drives with sightings of pangolin, baby porcupine and aardvark. These occurred on different days and drives, and all were good, though brief, sightings.

Our resident old hyaena has been seen around camp and tried to get into the Little Tubu kitchen one evening while there were still staff on duty!

One evening during our traditional dinner, guests were welcomed by three hippo which decided to join the guests. They came out of the water and walked right past the boma area in front of Tubu Tree!

We have had a good number of sightings of giraffe on and around the airstrip. The new baby giraffe unfortunately did not make it – it looks like it fell and did not survive.

There are still good herds of zebra and wildebeest around, as well as impala.

We spotted both a puff adder and a Mozambique spitting cobra near the back of house on several occasions during the month.

Birds and Birding
Birding during May was great with pelicans, marabou storks and lappet-faced vultures in front of camp, watching the water come in. We have had good sightings of the endangered wattled cranes every evening, feeding on the floodplain. We have also seen our resident gymnogene (African harrier hawk) most afternoons in the jackalberry tree above the curio shop.

The family of red-billed hornbills have grown up rapidly and are now nearly adult, although they still pester their mother for food if she is around. The five baby francolins are reduced to three, but they are now fully grown.

Guest Comments
You, the Tubu Tree team have been very successful, we would come again. Our stay exceeded expectations. Facilities are wonderful. The attitude of staff always positive and cheerful. We saw more wildlife than expected. Food was good and splendid. Thanks

Beautiful rooms and views!! The people here are exceptional. The guides were exceptional - finding us something to marvel at with each game drive. And the food was wonderful - even making my gluten free food taste as good as it gets. Thank you

Welcoming, Michelle warm and friendly introduction - attention to so many details, heart shaped towels on beds, leaves, tea snacks, scenery - cuisine, our Guide Broken - fabulous boat ride - meeting interesting people from all over Phili in other words, everything.

We had high expectations of Tubu Tree and they are definitely met. The personal attention makes you feel special and at home and the accommodation is excellent, Seretse, Philly and the other staff members did an excellent job at giving us a vacation within our 5-month trip through Africa. Thank you! PS we loved our big bed and outdoor shower PPS Madeleine, thanks for the wine/chocolate and suggestions!

Staff in Camp
Managers: Jared Zeelie, Ian Burger, Michelle Burger, Kamegelo Mapila, Gloria Amos, Mark Nicholson, Madelein Swanepoel
Guides: Joseph Makhulosekopo, Seretse Xaeko, Bolatatswe “Bee” Makgetho, Broken Bambo


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