Little Makalolo – September 2013
Landscape / Vegetation & Water
The bush continues to thin out as trees shake off their leaves and the grass, depending only on sparse nutrition from the ground, is dying out as well. This, coupled with the pressure from our herbivores, means that a desert is unveiling itself in Hwange.
July has been rather mild in terms of the cold compared to the previous years. Yes, it was cold with a minimum of 1.5 degrees Celsius being recorded, but we were happy that it didn’t go below freezing. The end of the month was rather strange with lots of cloud build-up, however we didn’t receive any rain.
July has been a great month in terms of animal sightings. Lion sightings have increased significantly and the magnificent creatures have been seen on numerous occasions looking healthy and in great shape. We have even seen them with cubs sometimes, with just the females on their own at other times.
A baby elephant died during the month which guides suspected was a natural death. In no time at all a pride of lion had spotted it and were seen for several days enjoying themselves with their cubs at this feast. It got more exciting when the hyaenas wanted to join in get a piece of the cake, if one may call it that! There was a lot of roaring and fighting over the poor elephant and it resulted in one female walking away with a limp.
Beautiful sable herds have been seen in front of the camp on several occasions. Eland have also been kind enough to pay us a few visits during the course of the month.
July had a few special animal sightings, one being five wild dogs chasing a kudu bull around camp. It was quite an intense chase but luckily for the kudu he survived to see another day in this beautiful paradise. An exquisite sighting was of cheetah on a termite mound as the sun was about to set.
Lion 74%, leopard 16%, roan 97%, giraffe 100%, hyaena 94%, Cape buffalo 97%, side-striped jackal 13%, black-backed jackal 100%, elephant 100%
The bushveld has been amply supplied with creatures that produce evocative sounds. The emerald-spotted dove has been seen and heard throughout the month making its persistent yet beautiful sound. The red-billed francolins, which we affectionately call our Little Makalolo chickens, have been offering wake-up calls to our guests consistently, though not always on time. They also realised that no one is ever going to invite them for breakfast so now they come and try and sneak in while no one is watching.