Namibia News – April 2014
Little Kulala had rain! After a few months of watching the clouds build up and rain in the surrounding areas, it finally pushed through to the Kulala’s. The days following the small rainstorm were still very hot and humid and the camp is still hoping for more rain. One can always see a difference in the wildlife in thismarginal area after the rains, young springbok lambs were prancing around and the small Namaqua sand grouse chicks were seen following their mother around where previously they didn’t venture outside. Some guests were also incredibly lucky and had a sighting of two brown hyenas on one night drive.
Kulala Desert Lodge is still reporting some very hot days but a few interesting animals were seen around the lodge; Elwert noticed some movement down in the riverbed and upon closer inspection, saw a warthog with a young one in the shade. This is possibly the first recorded sighting of a warthog this far south. Due to the drought at the moment, kudu came down from the mountains as far south as Kulala Desert Lodge’s waterhole; this is also an incredibly rare sighting on the reserve.
– The photo showed the clouds building up in the vicinity of Little Kulala but no rain. photos © Lodine Liebenberg
– Two kudus spotted at the waterhole at Kulala – photo © Bradwin Wilhelm
– An Oryx on the plains around Kulala Desert Lodge
– A Cheetah at the Ongava Tented Camp waterhole
– Leopard as seen by Emsie in the middle of the day
– Dinner with lions at Ongava Tented Camp.
– The incredible rain that fell at Desert Rhino Camp
– A chameleon camouflaged against the rocks
– Big herd of elephants on the slopes looking for some greenery
– The elephants have moved away from the riverbeds and the guides had to work hard for their sightings
– Very relaxed Brown Hyenas in the middle of the day – a very rare sighting
– A young male Black Rhino found quite unexpectedly by D.Camp guides
– The boat landing at Cafema
– The Kunene pushed through under the bridge between the main area and room 6, 7 and 8
– A young crocodile caught as part of the crocodile research project started by the Cafema guides
– Flowing rivers – all photos © Emsie Verwey
– Elephant in the valley right where the camp is being built
– Dust bath at Hoanib Camps waterhole
– The Terrace male without his tuft of tail
– The loss of some of his pride by the Hunkap males didn’t hamper him when he caught the oryx a few days later
“On Sunday 16 February, really, really early, Constance, Namasiku and I, Gerhard our ‘nou gaan ons braai’ guide from the Namibia Explorations department, Olwen Evans and her daughter Nicole, departed from Windhoek and drove via Henties Bay and the Skeleton Coast National Park to Moewe Bay, arriving late afternoon. Two Ministry of Environment and Tourism houses were allocated between everyone and dinner was started which basically entailed Gerhard braaing. The team set off North along the beach. A light mist had engulfed the coast with the sun catching the dunes in the distance. Some of the shipwrecks visited included the Suiderkus, Karimona and the Ventura Bomber which crashed along coast in 1942. We also visited the Moewe Bay museum, watched the seals playing in the surf and a short drive to Hoanib River Mount before driving inland to Klein Oase and slid down a steep roaring dune in the vehicle. The drive to Hoanib Camp took the rest of the day, we drove through dune fields, stopped at Auses spring and arrived at the camp with a bull elephant drinking at the waterhole. Chris and Tier welcomed us and soon Gerhard braaied again and everyone reminisced about the days adventures. The next morning we drove via the Hoanib, Mudorib and Hunkab Riverbeds to the Kharakauob Plain. The scenery was stunning and the sightings awesome, including mountain zebras, ostriches, jackals, oryx, giraffe and much more.
The trip was an experience of a lifetime, no words can express the beauty, serenity, sights and sounds, it was a privilege to have been part of this group.”
– Early morning sun catching the dunes – all photos below © Gudi MacRobert
– The Karimona wreck, what is left of it
– Auses spring
– Damaraland Camp outside breakfast
– Valentines dinner at Doro Nawas
– Sleeping on the roof at Little K is a highlight – photo © Dan Myburg
A Moroccan inspired dinner in the main restaurant – this ensured the win for the set up competition for February.
– Long lines of the Himba patiently waiting for their turn in front of the camera
– The day was quite long but great excitement formed part of this historical day
– Everyone was very proud to show their voter registration cards
Our very own Chris Bakkes was voted as one of the top 25 safari guides in Africa by Conde Naste Traveller. He is no. 7 on the list and this was the write up: “Bakkes is an author, novelist, and guide extraordinaire who, as a game ranger in Kruger National Park, lost his left arm when he was attacked by two crocodiles. He has a biologist’s knowledge of the flora and fauna, and a poet’s eye for the landscape (one of the highlights of a safari with him is his recitals of epic poems around the campfire). He is passionate about this remote desert wilderness, and although he’s now the warden of Palmwag conservancy and not a day-to-day guide, he’s always looking for excuses to take guests into the wilderness”