March delivered very good sightings, especially in the Ngamo Plains, where a lot of plains game – for example, wildebeest, eland, impala, zebra, giraffe, warthog and kudu – congregate in vast herds. These herds attract a lot of predators to the area too, and most, if not all, big cats are frequently seen.
A pride of 14 lions has been sighted on numerous occasions in the area. The two cheetah brothers that are most frequently seen at Back Pans near Linkwasha have now moved to Ngamo and were spotted on hunts on numerous occasions.
Scott’s Pan, while otherwise quiet in terms of mammals, produced a special sighting of the otherwise rare gemsbok – a true highlight for our guests. The cheetah brothers were seen a couple of times in and around Ngamo, and our guests witnessed them near Cobra Pan on a young zebra kill.
Little Makalolo was graced by some very special sightings of wild dogs, and we even witnessed a kudu kill right in camp. A herd of about hundred buffalos came through to the waterhole and spent the better part of the afternoon in camp; it was great to have the buffalos back.
A rare sighting of two honey badgers was another special highlight in March. Staff members going for resupply had an amazing sighting of a huge leopard at Little Sam Pan. And on one memorable day, vervet monkeys alerted guides and guests to a leopard in camp during high tea. It was really the highlight of the day as guests had seen lions and cheetahs in the morning – meaning they saw three of the big cats on the same day.
We have noticed a slight change in the weather. We still had a few days with rain in March, and generally it was hot, but we are now experiencing cold mornings and nights, indicating that winter is almost upon us.
Landscape and vegetation
The approaching winter season has resulted in a few changes as far as vegetation is concerned. The grass has lost most of its green, resulting in animals like elephants slowly shifting from grazing to browsing. There is also a change of colour in the leaves of the ordeal trees, giving the bush a golden appearance. Most of the shallow natural pans have already dried up, allowing elephants and other mammals to use them as mineral licks.
The Ngamo area has been particularly amazing for birds, especially huge flocks of Egyptian geese, spur-winged geese and many more that we enjoy watching feed and swim. We have also noticed a decrease in migrant birds like the European bee-eaters. Storks have also been seen in fewer numbers as some have already left the area, while a single wattled crane is still being seen in Ngamo open area. Another great sighting was of great white pelicans at Ngamo Plains. In fact, we had a couple of bird lovers who left in awe of the great shots they got and the birdlife numbers we have.
Behind the Scenes
Assistant Manageress: Valentine
Trainee managers: Tawanda and Aminata
Guides: Charles, Edson, Farai, Elias, Leo
Housekeeping: Prince, Pagiwa, Ntokozo, Kudakwashe and Thembelani
Maintenance: Mbeke, Beki, Donald and Pious
Kitchen: Mayisa, Madiwa, Nathan, Daniel, Tichaona and Benedict
Waiters: Present, Nyasha and Newten
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