This time certainly presents a platform to reflect on the natural world, and our place in it. Our guides have been busy with training and various responsibilities, and sightings that rate from zen to ten on the heart-rate scale.
During the month, we have been blessed with more late rain, once again turning the wilderness to a beautiful luminous green for most of the property. The last third of the southern side of the property did not receive as much rain so it is drying out and turning to shades of gold rather rapidly.
Here’s a snapshot of April’s sightings brought to you from staff and guides moving around the property, carrying out their daily work:
Two lionesses were seen at the base of Croc Creek by Jason Turner. They were making their way in the early evening to the water’s edge below Malilangwe House.
Three lions were seen at Nanga Pan area, close to the Nyamasikana crossing, early evening.
Just recently, part of the River Pride was seen on a buffalo cow kill.
With the lodge being so quiet at these times, we frequently hear lions roaring from all parts of the property.
A couple of leopards have been seen recently, but not as many sightings as normal due to less movement of vehicles at night.
The wild dogs were seen two week ago attempting to hunt impala on the Banyini at about 10:30 one morning.
They were seen again a week later on the Orphan Road, hunting at dusk.
Coming back from an afternoon game drive after dark, Brad Fouché came across four hyenas attempting to hunt impala. They were very excited with tails up and hair fluffed out.
The lush grass is providing such nutritious grazing for white rhinos at the moment. The late afternoon drives down the Orphan Road, which is a 7 km stretch from Binya Road to HQ, has been very productive for white rhinos. Just the other day, in a space of 4 km of road, and in about 10 minutes, different groups of rhino were seen totalling 11 animals in all!
Elephant sighting now have been unreal, with different cow herds being seen all over the place. A huge herd was seen yesterday totalling 70 individuals moving towards the Chiredzi River for a midday drink and swim, and another herd of 20 elephants was seen at Croc Creek.
Bulls are being seen everywhere, from Banyini, to Orphan Road, the Chiredzi River and on the West Valley road.
The buffalo herds are frequenting Banyini Pan now rather often and tell-tail signs of herds crossing the Binya Road going to the river is an everyday occurrence.
Boat cruises & fishing
There have been some relaxing boat cruises with epic light for photography and awesome scenery. Keeping the boats running, we can boat around the dam once or twice a week. Around 10 days ago, because of the rain, the dam had come up which allowed us to travel right to the top of the river that feeds the dam. We spent the sundowner time with a raft of over 30 hippos. Who does not love the sound of hippo!
A few fishing trips have happened in the past weeks and overall a few good tigerfish have been caught but the bream fishing has been slow. This is expected as we move into winter.
Walks and rock art
This month we have been to four rock art sights on foot. On the first trip, as we arrived, we had the privilege of seeing a huge black rhino bull, on getting our scent he took off running. The last sight we visited was an amazing walk through close narrow gorges of sandstone through a natural rain drainage system. Coming out on the other end, it opened into little valleys of the greenest lushest grass with a few fully grown ilala palms dotted around the place, it was so stunning! We took it easy as there was a lot of fresh signs of buffalo bulls around. We also flushed a spotted eagle-owl. At the rock art sight, we found where a buffalo bull had recently been lying up against the rock that the painting was on and we also came across a red-winged starling’s nest with chicks in it.