Vumbura Plains - October 2013

Oct 29, 2013 Vumbura Plains
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Weather and Landscape
It is feeling hot, hot, hot on the plains of Vumbura! October has seen temperatures steadily increasing from 30 °C at the beginning of the month to a rather sticky 42 °C towards the end of October. The odd chilly morning breeze or overcast day has brought a very welcome break from the heat to many. A couple of light thunder showers recording no more than 5.5 mm is all in the way of rain that we have seen thus far. This coupled with the receding water from the annual inundation has caused the landscape to dry up considerably and we patiently await the arrival of some good rain.

Leopard sightings have continued to overwhelm and enthral all fortunate enough to be in their path. For the first couple of weeks of the month, Selonyana was sighted with her cub at least every three days. Frequently entertaining delighted guests, they were often seen hunting and playing with each other in various situations. One lucky group were captivated by the pair during a very memorable afternoon drive. For hours, cameras continuously clicking away, the guests witnessed the most remarkable interactions between mother and cub as the pair played, jumping high into the air together. On another occasion the cub, less than one year old, was even spotted with her very own kill. Having apparently learnt well from her mother, the young predator was found with a vervet monkey which she had killed and feasted on all alone. No doubt a proud moment for Selonyana.

It has perhaps been a more unsettling month for our resident lions. The Kubu Pride had been seen on a regular basis throughout the beginning of the month. They were focusing particularly on hunting buffalo, and on many occasions they were successful. Since this time, two new sub-adult males moved into the area. What is interesting is that since their arrival, the Kubu Pride was not spotted until the very end of the month. The two males have only been spotted three times and are sure to still be prowling the area. Two of the younger males of the Kubu Pride are particularly shy and it is thought that they had moved out of the concession for a short time. It is good to know they are back and reclaiming their territory!

Although the wild dog sightings may not have not been as fruitful as they were in September, the few times they were sighted were of them actively hunting close to camp. One potentially stormy afternoon late in the month, a lone wild dog brought down an impala just beyond the deck of Tent 7. In no time at all he was joined by the remaining 11 in the pack as they devoured the small antelope in minutes. The new alpha female of the Golden Pack is suspected of having pups somewhere to the north of our majestic plains, but the den is yet to be discovered. We are waiting with anticipation to see these wonderful animals introducing their new young to us all here in camp.

The general game has been abundant. Huge herds of buffalo are a regular sight, as are zebra, and dazzles of over 30 can often be seen grazing happily on the plains. The same applies to the elephant, with herds of up to 40 having been spotted and admired during action-packed drives. A journey of 20 giraffe was even seen one sunny afternoon, the golden light a wonderful partner to these stunning creatures. And let’s not forget the magnificent sable which have been sighted often during the month.

Guest Comments
“The wildlife was fantastic and the location and the people at the Lodge are even better! We enjoyed every minute of our stay. Keep up the great work!”

“Fantastic! Excellent guiding and interpretive experience. Wonderful camp staff that made gracious hospitality look easy.”

“At last, paradise on earth, thank you!”

Staff in Camp
Managers: Alex, Annabel, Kci, Jared and Tlamelo.
Guides: OB, Zee and Moronga.


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