Climate and Landscape
The temperatures were not too bad for winter and we recorded lows and highs between 5° Celsius and an extremely warm 35° C during July. Although much of the month was cooler, we had some really warm days in between, which was most welcome. This gave us a longer window for daytime activities as the cats, especially, were active, even at midday because they were afraid of the heat later in the day.
Our Xigera Pride of nine continues to dominate the plains of the concession, coming in and going out of Xigera Camp’s Paradise Island as and when they please, meaning the kudu and bushbuck that have made the island home are in constant danger of being eaten. At the end of the month we did in fact see them snacking on a baby bushbuck.
The leopard that comes into camp quite frequently has been named Boitumelo, meaning “Happiness.” She really brightens the hearts of all, staff and guests alike, and has entered and left the island a total of some 11 times this month. This ensured almost all our guests this month saw her or at least heard that she was around. What a wonder it is to see a leopard bringing radiant smiles to the faces of everyone who sees her.
We have realised that she has developed an appetite for the genet that live on the island here as we have seen her in camp stalking the mother genet – though not succeeding in catching her – several times. We also discovered that the genet has raised two young which are now almost six months old. We saw them for the first time at the end of this month. They are so beautiful to watch as they run around below the curio shop and kitchen area, though their lives are in danger of being cut short by Boitumelo the leopard.
Birds and Birding
The Pel’s fishing-owl did not disappoint. It’s almost certain now that if you don’t see it during your safari you will at least hear it call at night or early in the morning. It was seen several times sitting on the boats by the bridge. Sometimes it was seen sitting above the kitchen, surely feeling very important as some guests come specifically for this beautiful bird and take loads of photos… magical!
The African skimmers are back for the breeding season. The water levels are dropping and sandbanks are starting to appear here and there… especially at Xigera Lagoon where these birds nest in spring and summer before they migrate at the start of winter.
When the water levels drop like this it evokes beautiful summer swimming memories of the warm, shallow waters of the Okavango, with the white sands of the Kalahari moving magically under your feet as you lose yourself in this beautiful paradise.
Staff in Camp
Managers: Mal, OB, Tilly, Alice
Guides: Wise, MP, Kitso, Filters, Onx, and Lesh
Written By Quest Maundo, GM