Ruckomechi Camp – September 2013
It quite interesting to watch the changes July brings to the Zambezi valley with regards to flora and fauna. July has definitely brought about the crisp chill to the early morning and there is a distinctive drop in the temperature as the sun sets. The average temperature in the morning is 12 degrees Celsius warming up throughout the day and becoming rather hot mid-afternoon. The wind whistles through the camp from mid-morning but luckily it dies down during the hot hours of the day making the afternoons splendid, whether spent on the river or on a game drive.
Mammal sightings this month have been excellent, with more and more plains game flocking towards the river to drink as inland water pans dry up and become rock hard mud supporting little life. Game including buffalo and eland, species that travel huge distances south towards the Zimbabwean escarpment in the rainy months, have now made the floodplains bordering the river their temporary home. As always with the increase of plains game the predators are never far off, with wild dog, lion and leopard making the most of the concentrated prey species.
The ana trees are producing thousands upon thousands of seed pods during this harsh and lean time of the year, making up the main food source for most of the game in the area. Waterbuck, impala, baboon, warthog and vervet monkeys are a daily sighting as they frequent the areas immediately around camp foraging for the much-prized pods of these trees
Lion sightings have been more regular. The cubs are growing older and are now being weaned. Feeding on solid meat as well as milk, their mother has become increasingly impatient with the cubs and pushes them away as they try to suckle. The cubs have been seen often feeding side by side with the adults at a carcass.
Leopard sightings have also been fantastic this month with a female with four cubs being the main highlight and seen on two occasions. Four cubs is a very large litter and almost unheard of with leopards. The cubs are roughly seven months old and are still very vulnerable to predation or disease. Hopefully they all survive.
Of course all the regulars have been keeping the guests entertained with their beautiful plumage. Some to note are the lilac-breasted rollers, white-fronted, little and swallow-tailed bee-eaters, brown-hooded kingfishers, white-crowned lapwings and the Meve’s starlings.
Staff in Camp
Solly Tevera, Evie Bwalya, Kevin and Sandy Van breda, Gadrick Nyamhondoro, Lloyd and Lindy Mushure, Bono Lunga, Champ Sadiere and Daniel Peel.