After having an incredible month of April, no one would have thought May could be even better, but it was! We encountered some stunning sightings.
As our winter starts here Hwange, most of our trees and forests lie dormant in our Kalahari sandstone formation. Our natural water sources dry up in response to daytime heat and are further depleted by the returning elephants. This marks the beginning of our dry season.
In our African conditions some of our animals cannot do without enough moisture a good example is our African Elephant. This drying of natural pans means the highest concentrations of elephants are now coming to have water in our eco-friendly solar pumped pans. It’s always a great experience when guests have their dinner under the stars whilst they are listening to the iconic call of the wild made by some elephants stomach rumbles and youngsters trumpeting.
The long winter nights mean that hyenas will have more time for their nocturnal activities. This month we had the best hyena sightings in front of the camp during the night drives. Seeing these creatures several times means higher chances of them denning within our concession. Our guests were mesmerized by the hyenas that were calling and laughing in front of camp while we were sitting at the campfire. They requested a night drive and nine hyenas were sighted on that same night. Their full beauty was revealed under the spotlight.
In this month we also had a special visitor – the African Wild Dog or “painted wolf”. One solitary dog was seen by guests when they were having some bush sundowners. The following day they saw the same individual battling to bring down a fully grown up kudu as it ventured and found its way into the water pan in front of the camp. The Dog fought for several minutes then gave up the battle trotted towards Sidanga pan – another one of our hotspot areas in the concession.
Giraffes are now making a difference. A journey of about twenty to thirty individuals is seen regularly coming to drink at the pan during day time. It’s also amazing to watch them walk through, the worst part is when they run. Did you know a “Journey” of giraffes becomes a “Tower” when they stop to eat of drink?
In the scorching heat of our drying pans, we see a lot of hornbills collecting mud to seal the cavities of breeding areas. African fish eagles are also sighted in tall trees in front of the camp, often in hot pursuit of the frogs and some red billed teals. Red-billed spurfowls also give us wake-up calls early in the morning as they start to display their presence.
Some of the other sightings included lots of plains game and a wonderful sighting of lions on a giraffe kill.
Until next month…
James and Verney’s Camp guides.