When you live in the bush, side by side with nature, you tend to stumble onto some astounding sights from time to time. The month of August at Duba has been no exception.
Winter has been given the cold shoulder and the sun is greeting us slightly earlier each day, beckoning to get out and see the Delta. Some mornings and evenings have been quite chilly, but the day warms up quickly and temperatures have been reaching up into the thirties every now and again.
The beginning of August gave us some great leopard sightings: attempted hunts and one that was trying to drag a kill up a tree, and relaxed leopards lounging in the grass or trees.
Two young lions (male & female siblings) have been making their rounds to camp on a regular basis. Only about two and a half years old, they are still inexperienced hunters and it’s mostly trial and error for them when it comes to filling their bellies. They were sighted crossing through or hanging out on the edges of camp on several occasions. The tracks in the pathways tell of their nightly (and daily!) visits.
Emotions ran high as the lion prides were clashing over territories and a lioness got hurt in the process, but has recovered since. We also had an injured male lion who looked pretty bad at one stage, but slowly he started healing and growing stronger and is now doing much better. Buffalo, warthog and lechwe were among the animals on the plains that fell prey to these big cats.
We were delighted to discover three lion cubs of about 3 weeks old after much speculation on a female that appeared to have given birth recently. Mom is naturally very protective of her vulnerable offspring and likes to bare her teeth to the other members of the pride who dare to venture too close.
The buffalo herds were coming and going as they pleased. They retreat to Paradise Island should the ominous sight of a buffalo skull on a termite mound become too much for them to bear before making a dramatic return and causing the lions to accept the challenge once again.
The pangolin is a mystical creature for most and we were surprised to have daylight sightings of this elusive nocturnal animal. This scaly anteater is among some of the most hunted animals on earth as it is killed for its scales, which is then dried and sold as medicine on black markets which makes these sightings even more precious.
Other nocturnal beasts seen include some porcupine visitors who came up to the front deck during dinner. One was curious to see what a guest was doing in the restroom, he peeked in but decided against entering and disappeared below the walkway into the dark.
Apparently impatient to wait for the rebuild of Duba, we had an elephant that decided to do some remodelling of his own to Tent 1. He just walked up to the screen around the walkway, pushed his tusks through the openings between the sticks and pulled of a panel of the screen. He then continued to snack on what must have been a particularly juicy little branch, considering the trouble he went through to get to it. Luckily our maintenance team were able to do repairs once the big guy decided to move on to another tree further down the pathway.
Lastly, we welcome three new team members. Conny Maunz, our new front of house manager originally from Germany, has worked in Zambia & Tanzania before and is no stranger to the bush. Our new executive chef, Pickard, is from South Africa and is creating dishes to ensure your palate gets its fair share of the excitement. Pickard is joined by his soon-to-be-wife Sonja who will be moving between departments as different managers take their well-deserved leave. We welcome them all to the team and the majesty that is Duba.
The Duba Team