It often gets windy in august as frontal systems come into the region. Typically bright sunny days are cooled by this wind, which is especially pleasant during your siesta period. For those completely adverse to the warmth fear not as our cool air evening breeze systems in the rooms that can come to the rescue.
The vultures love the frontal winds as you often see them soar
Migrating to the flood plain
The annual flood from both the Okavango and Kwando systems have had quite an impact on the area this month. Not 5 minutes drive from Zarafa is the waters edge of he Zibidianja lagoon. You can drive for 6 miles along this boundary and happen upon the most incredible sightings at this time of year. Most of the kills have been spotted along these flooded areas as this is the main source of the water for the animals as we are surrounded by desert scrublands.
The flooding has brought in some new birds with a flock of pink backed pelicans now seen in front of Zarafa. They just look so unusual as pelicans are often associated with the coast. They are so heavy that to land on the top of a palm tree they fly right out at with speed so they can bomb there way to a grip. They don’t hover very well.
The vegetation has all turned very yellow and all the grasses in the mainland have dried up. Trees have started losing their leaves which accelerated by all the elephants that are now arriving. The elephants come from the drylands where there is no permanent waters migrate to the Linyanti so our numbers have rocketed. We have one famous elephant named Fred who we should be seeing soon, watch this space for his arrival.
We have had some very unique experiences in July especially involving leopard. One special one was a three year old Leopard which had killed an Ardvarck which is not a common site to see. The same leopard was seen doing the same in January.
Leopard with Aardvark carcass
Lion activity is at its peak. We experienced lions taking down a Giraffe on one of our night drives. This was by a new male Lion who also recently killed a Buffalo calf and a Zebra carcass at the same spot. It looked like the Buffalo Calf was killed a little further away from where the Zebra was killed and was dragged to where the Zebra was. This old guy spent about five days at this location feeding on the two carcasses all by himself. The guides believe the buffalo Calf might have been killed by a Leopard and the Male lion might have picked up the commotion and went and chased the Leopard away and dragged the kill away as there was a Leopard in that area the day of the kill.
Wild Dog sightings have also been very good this month and one of the sightings being a strange one whereby the dogs were spotted scavenging on a dead elephant’s carcuss; this doesn’t happen often as the dogs normally hunts and have very fresh meat. The new Alpha female in the pack looks pregnant which gives us hope that maybe they will find a den and den on the Zarafa side and this will mean we will be seeing a lot more of them in the area and also increased dog population in our area…so exciting
We have been very privileged to have good sightings of the two male Cheetahs trying their luck at baby Zebras. A male stallion has been coming to the rescue with his rear hooves trying to kick the Cheetah away, some guests watched this and the cheetah were lucky to get away.
On the culinary front at Zarafa, our Executive Chef, Katherine has been putting on a show of her own, with exciting new ideas flowing from the kitchen. Our bush dinners have evolved into a taste sensation of their own as Katherine has taken the idea of the traditional Motswana cuisine and turned it into what we are calling “A taste of Africa” – with exciting pre-starter and starter samples of the local population’s favorite dishes which are not only delicious but also presented beautifully. To complete this gourmet delight, we are inviting guests to an ice-cream sampling which involves two flavors of Katherine’s delicious homemade ice-cream topped with an abundance of varying choices: from crushed chocolate chip cookies, fresh strawberries to even a tiny tot of fine Whiskey over the dish, to challenge even the most discerning pallet. Guests do not only love being involved in the tradition of Botswana, but are raving about these fabulous culinary adventures. Not only great game viewing, but an eating safari to top all.
All Pictures by: Reuben