Namibia News – May 2013
ONGAVA TENTED CAMP
This month all in Namibia were really lucky as we received some much -anticipated rain – most likely the last for the season. This month we received a total of 26 mm. We were all amazed at how quickly the environment responded to the rains as there has been an explosion of new shoots and flowers, flooding the landscape with colour. In terms of temperature, we have not experienced cold conditions as yet, with the average temperatures ranging in the low 30s (Celsius). The average low for the month was 18Â° C, which indicates that winter is slowly creeping in.
Wildlife sightings have been pretty good this month but due to the rain, much of the wildlife has dispersed as there is more surface water available. The late flush of budding vegetation has also caused the herbivores to spread out. This in turn has resulted in the predators changing their hunting strategy and dispersing with the prey species. This meant that sightings at the camp waterhole declined a little, but out on game drive we had no problems finding wildlife.
Another exciting natural occurrence which occurs annually has begun. The impala have started to rut and this is always quite a spectacle to witness a s the large males become extremely territorial and invest all of their time and effort into herding females and chasing off other males. The process can be very audible as the males fight with one another. Given the focus of the males on their territorial duties, they don’t pay much attention to predators and become easy prey.
Weather and Landscape
At the beginning of the month we experienced some extreme conditions as almost every day the mercury would be pushed up to a toasty 42Â° C. Luckily the conditions cooled down during the second half of the month as we edge closer to winter. By the end of the month, we were experiencing cool mornings at an average temperature of 18Â° C. We also had one day of rain which was most welcome. The clouds have continued to build up, so hopefully we will receive one more burst of rain before winter.
Sightings this month were incredible! An African wild cat was spotted in front of the guest rooms early one morning. It seems this feline has settled around the camp as it is seen regularly and is very relaxed in the presence of people. A Cape cobra was also seen in the camp parking lot. When one takes the time to view this snake, it is a very attractive snake, as far as serpents are concerned.
Camp staff have been very busy this month with training programmes. Two of our chefs have visited other Wilderness camps in Botswana. Back at camp, a number of staff renewed their First Aid qualifications, while some new staff received training for the first time.
Weather and Landscape
February left us with high expectations for rain in March, but unfortunately we only received a few smalln drizzles and cloudy days, but no serious rain. Generally speaking, the temperatures w ere quite high, but things would cool down a bit in the afternoon as the cool breeze rolled in from the Atlantic Ocean. The mornings have been a little chilly, a reminder that winter is knocking on the door. The landscape was cloaked in mist on a few mornings, which was burnt off as the sun heated the landscape. The afternoon winds coupled with the dry conditions did create some dusty situations here and there.
As the landscape becomes drier and drier, the herds and congregations of wildlife have split up and spread out in a quest to search for moisture and palatable food. Game sightings along the Huab River have been rather good, as we often encountered kudu, oryx, steenbok, baboon, ostrich, springbok and elephant along this ephemeral river.
Jacob Basson Combined S chool at Bergsig received a generous donation from camp guest, Mr Monko. The donation was then used to purchase two washing machines. The entire school and hostel staff would like to thank Mr Monko for his donation and care for the community.
Weather and Landscape
In March, there was no rain to speak of until the end of the month. The landscape is very dry due to lack of rain and thus no greenery is visible. Daytime temperatures ranged from 15Â° C to the lower 40Â° C mark. On the 30th of March we had isolated showers and the next morning thick mist clouds covered the whole area and only cleared out at 2pm that afternoon. Since then it has started to get bit colder in the mornings and at night time. Winter is on its way!
Camp News and Upgrades
This month the camp was closed and underwent a small revamp. A team of dedicated workers build a brand -new swimming pool, a brand -new kitchen and laundry facilities with their respective storerooms in quite a short space of time despite some delays with the delivery of materials.