Someone turned up the heat in November but we had a few showers last week and thankfully the weather has cooled. The mopane trees are starting to push out new leaves and there are the most beautiful flowers about. Above is an artistic interpretation by Dharmesh Daya of a sand forest poison rope flower (Stropanthus petersianus) with its petals that taper to a rope-like tail.
Thursday 26 November marked the arrival of the first baby impala born for this season. It was seen just outside our base camp, and this symbol of new life and a new season was cause for big smiles all round.
Without game drives going out due to the Covid-19 pandemic we are not actively pursuing and tracking wildlife as we do when we have guests, but we still see so much on our drives around the Malilangwe Reserve, and we keep an eye on all the goings on.
Here is a snapshot of November sightings:
We’ve been watching two young males, seen a number of times on the Banyini, grow in confidence.
The Southern pride of lions have been hunting in the Chiloveka area, and one of the females has given birth to cubs as she has been seen lactating heavily.
There have also been several sightings of lions in the cool, heavily wooded Manyuchi area.
The lovely young female leopard that we spot alongside the West Valley Road as we travel to and from the lodge has been seen a couple of times. This areas seems to be part of her territory now.
The bush around Sosigi Dam, close to the lodge, was thinned out a while ago and we are seeing a lot more black and white rhino activity in this area.
We often see a dozen or more white rhino drinking in the late afternoon at Hwata Pan, followed by black rhinos in the evening. As the summer rain has just started now this pan will become less of a hot spot because there will be more surface water available.
With the bush still dry and sparse the sightings of elephants have been great, and are almost guaranteed at the waterholes. Food is sparse and you can see how they debark trees in their quest for nutrients. It won’t be long before they can rejoice in the new green growth that the rains will bring.
A fantastic sighting of the pack of 17 wild dogs (10 pups and 7 adults) was at Hwata, as they awoke from their afternoon nap and started playing with each other and splashing in the water.
The hyenas are going from strength to strength in the central area. They really have the monopoly and muscle on predator activity around the Banyini.
A large herd of buffalo have been drinking daily at the central pan. All you need to do at this time of year is be patient around a water source and you will be rewarded with buffaloes.
Apart from the good news of the first impala lamb of the season being born this month, there have also been prolific sightings of plains game species, including sable and hartebeest.
Boat cruises & fishing
The boats are still cruising and the fish are still biting!