Southern Africa Bush Tails

Bushlife Safaris News – September 2012

It has been a wonderful and exciting start to the season at Vundu this year. Please enjoy reading updates on wildlife updates and camp updates.

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Elephants
We were very happy to see Impi, Mudz i, Tusker, Hand Stand, Stompi, Harry and so many more of the amazingly friendly bull elephants from last year safe and sound! We are also happy to report they have got a few new young bulls with them. Hand stand obviously helping with the pulling down of t he yummy pods for everyone to eat!

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Wild Dogs
The Vundu Pack of Wild Dogs have denned this year about 6km from camp the pack consists of 18 adults and 10 puppies including 7 of last years puppies meaning only 4 of a 11 pups did not make it from last years litter and 6 adults have dispersed. The pups should be leaving the den by September. In May working together with Peter Blinston from painted Dog Conserva tion we darted and collard the alpha male in addition to their study on this pack.

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The Long Pool Pack this year started off with 7 adults 1 yearling and 7 puppies of which only 3 survived. These dogs have left the den and h ave been free ranging since the end of July making it a daily task to find them. The Chikwenya Pack consists of 14 adults and 15 pups last seen Mid July at their den just a few kms from our ilala mobile tented camp. The Chitake Pack consist of 12 adults. T heir den is still a mystery so we are unsure of the amount of pups in their litter. The Nyakasanga pack has been seen by Ruckomechi river just upstream of our camp

Leopards
The Leopard sightings have been really amazing so far this year. We saw a beautiful female in a tree with her baboon kill, and while we watched with the Marshall’s from the WCN, ANOTHER female came into sight about 400m away stalking and hunting some Impala close to the river!


We’ve also been privileged enough to see a young male get chased by 2 hyena. The same young male was spotted mid July passing through camp by the staff. The Vundu pair of mating leopards have been very active in camp but sightings of them have been hard to come by.

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Lions
We have been spoilt this year with the amount of lion activity we have encountered there seems to be a number of prides within Mana a pride of 8 known as the Rukomechi/ Vundu Pride. Another pride of 14 well known by the Mucheni Pride they have had 2 cubs this year and the Nyamepi Pride of 10, The Nyamatusi Pride of +/ – 15 and the Chikwenya Pride of 8.

Futher inland of Mana pools the Chitake Pride killed a buffalo in camp and +/ -12 lions shredded, crunched and endulged in the feast keeping the minds of the campers in their tents running wildly. We’ve also been lucky enough to have 2 big female lions that had had two cubs this year. Unfortunately one has died, but the other is growing big and healthy. The other day they passed through camp yet again and we found them early the next morning a few kms on an eland kill at which they stayed on for 2 days.

Birds
Earlier this year we spotted the rare Secretary bird on our first drive into camp for the season start. And the illusive Pels Fishing Owl has been heard in the canopy of trees surrounding the camp.

 
Pangolins
These endangered mammals are very hard to find but surprisingly we have had a total of 4 sigthings this year SO FAR tracks of one have been seen zig sagging along the outskirts of the camp.

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Upgrades to camp
We have made a few additions to camp, namely all rooms now have a fan and a charging station for cameras etc, next will be a few free standing reading lights. We have new linens in the form of pillows and pillow cases, duvets, sheets, head boards and bases. We have added another large 3 seater comfy couch to the lounge area. 2 months ago we broug ht in a new addition to our fleet of vehicles, another land rover which has been rebuilt and is as good as new.

We have installed a new 12kva generator which will charge a bank of 10 huge batteries and a 5kva inverter system so that the fans, charging sta tions and lights will run 24 hrs a day . We have installed a 40 cubic feet deep freezer which will really help out in the heat of Ssep and Oct together with 3 x 30lb ice making machines. We have enlarged the kitchen and renovated the bar area.

Spa
Natalies’ Spa has taken off really well. Most guests have taken up the opportunity for a treatment of some kind or another. Really helps people to relax and work out any travel knots.

Staff
We have some new staff, starting with management. Nadine is runni ng the camp, and hostessing is by Nats the Spa lady. We have a new cook, waiter and bedroom hands, and a new mechanic .

First clients
We had our first clients Todd Densmore and Rebecca Dote who went on a 3 night Ruwezi Mobile trip after a 2 day stay at Vundu Camp, we stayed at Chessa the 1 st night, the stars were AMAZING! We then went onto Ilala and managed to do the Chikwenya channel on the last day which is living true to its nick name of Mana’s ‘Garden Trail to Eden.

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