The Zarafa Camp – Dispatches
Spring in the air brings an abundance of incredible sightings
August passed Zarafa by and the first day of spring revealed itself. Most days followed a peaceful bush pace, the fresh morning hours elapsing slowly but surely into 4 o’clock tea-time and passing on to another amazing sunset. Yet, in between every star-filled sky, some changes occurred. Some gradually and some in a more drastic fashion….
Welcoming Markus and Marijan
First of all, two new managers rocked-up! After being introduced to the bush life in South Africa, they seem to think they can handle dark and wild Botswana (and they are from Sweden and the Netherlands for crying out loud!)
Also the vervet monkeys have re-introduced themselves more sturdy at the main area. They know our ‘feeding hours’ by heart and the entire Zarafa team has to guard Katherine’s Fairy cakes as if their lives depended on it. Julia of the kitchen team knows exactly how to handle our uninvited guests and chases them back into the Jackalberry trees with her barbeque tongs. Survival of the fittest.
Leopard for dinner
Other than our vervet friends, August provided two other surprises in camp; a very inquisitive male leopard was hiding around the deck during dinner! Most of us are certain he was trying to find out where all the laughter came from, however Katherine seems convinced that he got mesmerized by the smell of the home-made Gnocci. Whichever, as soon as his hiding place was revealed the ‘Nkwe’ wondered of with his tail between his legs, clearly unhappy that he did not get the joke, nor got to taste the food.
The Leopard sighings close to Zarafa have been increasing substantially each year. The tree line drive from camp offers the perfect vantage to see Leopards resting in the waterside forests there. Issac and Ruben have been having the most remarkable luck with many guests seeing Leopards not only 5 minutes from the airstrip.
In 2006 all hunting on the Selinda Reserve stopped, Leopards once hunted have recovered incredibly quickly and this year seems to be the year of Leopard cups who are just “littered” all of the concession at the moment.
The Dog Dens of Selinda
Not one, Not two, but 3 Wild Dog Dens on the Selinda Reserve at present, this is unprecedented. The dogs have been very sharing in denning near Zarafa and one near Selinda and one near Explorers Camp, where the Canoe Trails travels past. The Explorer pack dogs are our and doing well but the other two dens are yet to surface.
Lion in Camp
The month ended in style with a male lion walking past camp and took care of that evenings’ entertainment with spectacular roaring in the distance. It was the best example of ‘bush karma’, as the guests in camp got rewarded on their last day after hours and hours of early morning lion tracking without much luck. It´s dogged as does it!
On the reserve the Lion activity is on fire, with almost daily sightings at some point on the concession. Lions do move around but we are lucky enough to have a number of clusters and prides, and like the Leopards they have many little cubs at the moment – one great wild kindergarten.
In September we are looking forward to monitoring the behavior of our in-house honey badger (we will keep you posted!) and we keep our fingers crossed that the Elephants do not take another swing at our solar plant … They are forgiven, but not forgotten.
Greetings from all of us in the bush,