November is the beginning of the rainy season for us and as such this past month has delivered fantastic cloud formations, the most amazing sunsets and eventually the first rain as well. Our guests have certainly enjoyed the beautiful light offered up at this time of the year together with the many accompanying photographic opportunities.
Also enjoying our picturesque surrounds this month was a large Nat Geo group. Selinda Camp was fortunate enough to have been selected as one of their stops on a special “around-the-world” trip in celebration of National Geographic´s 125-year anniversary. Dereck and Beverly Joubert headed up the team here at Selinda during the duration of their stay and gave a passionate talk and update on their conservation efforts under the African sky.
In amongst all the special guests who shared Selinda with us this month (Note: we only have special guests at Selinda), we also had the honour of hosting Mrs Debbi Fields, of USA “Mrs Fields’ chocolate chip cookies” fame, and would particularly like to thank her for sharing her famous recipe with our delighted chefs.
Birdlife has been abundant, especially now that the migratory birds such as the paradise flycatcher and the woodland kingfisher are back in the area.
Our little wire-tailed swallows, hatched and raised under the Selinda jetty, have decided to stay on with us and now form part of the official welcome committee for our arriving guests.
As is usual for this time of the year, after the first rains, the large herds of elephants have moved on in search of alternative vegetative nutrition, but we do have the occasional breeding herd passing by camp and single bulls visiting us in camp…. Including our “regular”, whom the staff have named “Bond”, caught here on camera early one morning helping himself to some of the guest breakfast.
It’s also time for some of the new generation to arrive and raise the activity levels out on the plains. Impalas, tsesebe and wildebeest have already introduced their newborns to the world and we look forward to seeing many more.
Of course with lots of antelope around there are bound to be the predators following and our guests have definitely not been disappointed on this score. We’ve had various sightings of different leopards, including two separate mating “couples”, seen on the same day in different locations on the concession.
… and lion have been spotted almost on a daily basis. Leaving us with lots to talk about too, even if a tad sad. There have been quite a few young elephant killed by them this month, which could just be the opportunistic taking advantage of weakened individuals at the end of a long dry season, or possibly a trend developing in the Selinda concession again? We are not quite sure …
The Northern wild dog pack of five has entertained us on numerous occasions – including a couple of visits to Selinda Camp itself. Unfortunately without their puppies and it would appear they have lost all six of them.
The good news, however, is that the southern pack was spotted in the vicinity of our sister camp, Zarafa, with seven healthy and rapidly growing youngsters.
Cheetahs are few and far between out here, but we have managed to get a glimpse of them on four or five different occasions through the month. Some lucky viewers were even able to capture them doing a quick pose in front of the setting sun.
And then of course we shouldn´t forget the always present hippo. The added cloud cover and cooler weather means they now spend more time outside the water during the day, offering more than just a set of eyes, ears and a nose protruding above the waterline for better photo opportunities. The rain appears also to have brought about a certain amount of “spring feelings” within them. Testament to that lies with the number of fighting males and mating couples we have seen in front of and around camp of late.
Lots of wildlife activity, happy guests and cooler weather … and this is just the beginning of the rainy season! Imagine what Selinda still has to offer … can’t wait to see you out here.
Eva Spyridis & Dave Pahl