The bush is looking quite dense for this time of year, thanks to the late rains, and we’re now looking forward to the metallic palette of autumn and the exquisite light it brings for photography.
Our new renovations are nearly ready for their big reveal, and although the lodge has been closed during construction we did honour prior bookings and welcomed those guests for a week in April. The wildlife was plentiful and if it were a teaser for what’s to come in the high season we are going to be enjoying spectacular safaris.
Here’s a Sightings Snapshot for April:
The River Pride were the stars of the show during the week we had guests. They spent the entire week on the Banyini open areas, and in the mopane thickets to the south, and were hunting regularly. They all seem to be in good health and are the ruling party, for now.
Time Mutema and his guests saw leopards on three occasions, including the dominant male trying to hunt impala on the airstrip.
We’ve been lucky enough to see breeding herds out in the open, and it is always a joy to see the babies and youngsters at play, learning the ways of the wild.
A group of elephant bulls have been meeting up at the central pan, like clockwork, for a midday drink.
There have been scores of white rhinos seen in the late afternoon on the Banyini, and if you forgo that early cup of coffee at the lodge before sunrise you have the chance of seeing black rhinos on the Banyini too.
The bi-annual rhino notching exercise took place this month. Rhino calves are ear-notched at around 15 months of age, before leaving their mothers. Ear notching is a unique numbering system, enabling the rhino population to be effectively monitored and protected. It also ensures a comprehensive database of rhino blood lines. It was carried out with its usual success and efficiency.
Massive herds of 700 plus have been converging at the water sources.
We were delighted to see the wild dogs this month. We counted 13 of them, and they were hunting in the south east. After that they headed north, to the higher hillier land and we hope they will den in the hills again this year.
Stripes of zebras, patchworks of giraffes, strata of impalas, shaded areas of wildebeest – the plains game are all where they should be, in great numbers. We are also regularly encountering a beautiful herd of eland.
The raptor sightings are exceptional at the moment, especially for – martial, Verreaux’s, crowned, brown snake and African hawk eagles.
Our staff have been making the most of the opportunities to do some fishing, and have landed many a bream meal.
Walks and rock art and outings
It’s a lovely time to do bush walks, and our guests have been enjoying these, as well as visiting some of the many rock art sites on the reserve. We’ve also done a full day trip to Gonarezhou National Park in the south, and seeing the Chilojo Cliffs is always a highlight.