The vegetation has totally changed this month in our corner of Hwange National Park. Everything is green and the flowers are blossoming, and smelling good everywhere. The animals are becoming fit, which will create difficulties for the local predators like hyenas and lions to achieve successful kills. However, the vegetation is looking promising for antelopes like impalas, and we are anticipating many new babies in the coming month – also creating hope for predators.
Sadly, at the end of the month we had veld fires for two days, which burnt vegetation from the Somalisa area heading to Airstrip 2 and the Ngwehla camp site. However, we managed to work together with Somalisa staff to contain the fire before it was too damaging to the ecosystem.
October proved to be the hottest time of our spring season so far. The highest temperature recorded was 42° Celsius. We were so fortunate enough to receive a little rain towards the end of the month, amounting to 15mm. At least it helped us cope with the heat.
Huge herds of jumbos were seen in front of the camp coming to quench their thirst at the waterhole, as well as our swimming pool. Sometimes these elephants would spend whole nights fighting for the aqua. We are proud to be able to pump enough water for our wildlife around camp.
Wildlife photographers had exceptional opportunities throughout the month, with a good distribution of plain game and predators. The big pride of 22 lions showed some trial-and-error attempts to take down young elephant males. These lions seem to be very courageous and prepared to try anything.
A big pack of painted dogs was seen several times around the concession. Gemsbok (oryx) were spotted around Little Sam, which confirmed the distribution of big plains game in the concession. Buffalos are still around, the weaker ones having failed to make it though, due to the existence of the big pride of lions, which are striving for their own survival in the ecosystem.
All kinds of birds were seen in the concession, with the month availing us of many water bird sightings. The national bird of Zimbabwe, the African fish eagle, was regularly spotted at the waterholes around the concession.
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