Winter is reaching towards us with her cold pale fingers. We’ve had some misty mornings, prevailing cold fronts and a few rainy days. That said, and despite the still lush vegetation, we’ve had some superb sightings including a purple patch afternoon drive that resulted in seeing the Big Five in two hours.
There’ve been many visits to Kambako for bushcraft demonstrations and cultural insights and experiences, as well as visits to our bush school centre where school children learn all about their wildlife heritage. We also offer a day trip into the Gonarezhou National Park, and this report takes a closer look at what guests can look forward to – one of the highlights being a steaming cup of morning coffee with home-made crunchies and rusks, while gazing at the Chilojo Cliffs (see photo).
Wildlife overview for March:
Lions: We’ve had excellent lion sightings, and they seem to be enjoying a varied diet this month. We’ve seen lions with zebra, wildebeest, impala and buffalo kills. The pride with the four cubs are still doing well. An interesting sighting was of an adult male lion at the river, who had no signs of any mane, despite being old enough to have one.
Leopards: This has been one of our best leopard-viewing month’s to date. Highlights included a male leopard that had killed a baby zebra and stashed it under some thick foliage at the top of an acacia tree. A female leopard that we recognise has a young cub of about four months old. We listened to her calling her cub and the cub, nervous but curious with us, calling back. Funny in its fortuitousness was when guests were on their first drive and it started with a superb sighting of a black rhino. Then six white rhinos were seen mud-bathing, along with a bull wildebeest. From there the guide reversed the landcruiser and turned onto a side track, only to see a huge male leopard resting up on the road! Very interesting viewing was that of a male leopard chasing another male off a hoisted impala kill that it had made. Could this be a new male wanting to challenge the resident male for his territory?
Elephants: Bull elephants are here and there, with breeding herds harder to find in the thick bush. Great elephant viewing still abounds though, like the guests that first saw four bull elephants and then later a large herd of about 40 females and youngsters that surrounded the vehicle and calmly fed, rubbed themselves on trees and wallowed in the nearby mud.
Rhinos: Good viewing of rhinos – the best was of 12 white rhinos all together. But stealing the show for the month was a newborn baby rhino gambolling about at its mother’s side.
Buffalos: We’ve seen huge herds of about 600, as well as ‘smaller’ herds of over 200 with newborn calves among them. A favourite that has quietly crept into everyone’s heart without them noticing is an old bull that lives at the base of Pamushana Hill where he enjoys a daily mud spar treatment.
Wild dogs: They are still on the property and doing well! Here the alpha pair relaxes among the string-of-stars flowers.
Hyenas: We’ve had several hyena sightings, and some of the sub-adults have approached the vehicle for a very curious and thorough inspection.
Cheetah: This male made up the majority of our cheetah sightings for the month. He was seen hunting on the grass plains that swathe his golden coat in emerald green.