The breeze coming off the spillway in February helped cool the residents of Selinda reserve and the insects were given haven in the long grass, this has lead to some pretty fantastic birdwatching in the area and the lush greenery adds to the feel of really being out in the bush. There is nothing like driving through a grassy area, and as you do the insects explode enticing the Southern carmine bee eaters in to feed. This is an incredible photographic opportunity for those with a steady hand.
While the season has been quiet (it is our off-peak time of year) the animals certainly haven’t. The hippos are becoming more brazen everyday and unfortunately showing this by marking their territory in most of our front of house areas before they slope back towards to the pools which they rest in over the day next to the camp, ensuring they can keep their beady eyes on our guests. Similarly we have had some of our cushions removed and ‘sampled’ by the neighboring hyenas and the genets are starting to show up in the evenings hoping they can whisk off a few snacks from the tables. The mornings are accompanied by the cry of the red billed francolins as they make their way to the breakfast table and readily await someone to be distracted for a second in order to steal the fresh, fire cooked toast. While there is food in abundance this time of year it would appear that everything still likes to drop by the camp to see if there are any easy pickings, hopefully that doesn’t include our guests!
Camp outs have been popular with the more thrill seeking traveler to really make them see how a night under the stars should really be like. There is a hide not 2km’s from Selinda where guests can spend the night on an extended deck. Watching the lighting in the distance and hearing the low rumble of thunder leaves the imagination to concoct tales of life here as nowhere on earth will make you feel like you truly belong.
The highlight of the month has been some of the most incredible Lion sightings. The Wakpuka pride of four females have three tiny new arrivals. One of the females has become a mother for the first time. She has hidden the cubs, who eyes are just opening, and part of our policy of protecting a critical sighting, such as that, we will only allow one sighting a day. The mother moved the cubs two days a go and we are yet to find them. We would not look for them intensively incase we disturb or worse attract attention to them.
From the north, an area called Kwando, came an old Lion which we have not seen before. Not too old though as two of the other Wakpuka pride females became somewhat attached by his presence. After two days of flirting the mating of one of the females began for 24 hours. So with three cubs already on the reserve can we be expecting more later in the year.
There has been a lone wild dog quite close to camp. This is slightly worrying and we are hoping that he just got lost from the rest of the pack. He has now moved on so we hope that this is the case. We have been seeing some good Wild dog movement and hunting in the area. One evening in an area called Makoba, to the north of Selinda, the guides picked up the dogs who chased a Red lechwe into the water only for it to escape.
There have been many Leopard sightings and one mother and cub fairly close to camp has been seen up a favourite lead wood tree of hers. We have had a few foot prints in the camp, seen the next morning.