Xigera Camp – June 2014
Climate and Landscape
Towards the close of the month one could feel the chill of winter sending its warning. Although the evenings have remained pleasant, there is a noticeable drop in temperature, with this month’s low averaging 21° Celsius and highs of 30° at midday. The lovely mangosteen canopy provides ample shade and the slow breeze over the water adds to the relaxed and cool environment. A distant rumble of the rainy season was evident on some afternoons and we are reminded that the thunderstorms will return!
With the rains subsiding the elephant have returned and we have seen more and more breeding herds in and around camp. During siesta time, these giants keep our guests active and intrigued as they watch them feed and interact with each other – which all makes for good conversation at afternoon tea.
The vervet monkeys are more visible now as fruits and forage are contained in the canopy that overshadows Xigera. These fellows are such a pleasure to watch and have become part of the camp family. We witnessed the dominant male, which we named ‘Blue,’ in a fight with a younger one which left scars that tell quite a tale.
Birds and Birding
Without a doubt, April should be called “the Month of the Owls,” with classic sightings of a juvenile and an adult Pel’s fishing-owl hunting from the comfort of the camp – a bird at the top of any birder’s list. Early morning and in the late afternoon, the two owls were to be seen from the walkway that is between the tents. Although not always easy to photograph, these rare specimens have now happily been ticked off on many bird lovers’ lists.
On the slow boat cruises guests come across cisticolas, widowbirds with their bright red shoulders, malachite kingfishers, goliath herons, weavers… and the list goes on.
We have been able to take our boats further as the water levels rise steadily, joining the Jao/Boro channel while cruising towards Chief’s Island has to be the best boat cruise in the Okavango Delta. Seeing giraffe, some buffalo and even lion whilst on a boat cruise is a special and rare experience.
The tranquil mokoro excursions have been truly exquisite, with all the reed frogs, malachite kingfishers and even elephant crossing the channels.