Every wet season, as the tropical rains begin to fall, the world at Magashi changes in ways both subtle and dramatic. Like Sleeping Beauty awakened by her true love’s kiss, the bush has come alive in transformation and renewal after the arrival of the big October rains.
Lush green landscapes and the cool and fresh skies also brought renewed energy and vitality to wildlife big and small. Weavers frantically competing over nesting sites, and hippos slowly getting into flirty moods and fiercely vocalising in nocturnal disputes, caused us to listen in awe.
In camp we received regular visits from a blue-spotted wood dove and a snowy-crowned robin-chat – both species that may make the heart of every bird enthusiast skip a beat.
At the edges of the Mahindi swamps, the young Eastern black rhino is growing and becoming bigger and more curious by the day. As it is quite strong now, the mother tolerates interaction with Mandela, the big bull who sired this little one, and many of our guests were lucky enough to witness the youngster luring his father into some rough baby-rhino play.
But what would be a newsletter be without an update on the Amahoro Pride? The young lions are getting big, and the family is roaming larger distances now. Nevertheless, we still have countless sightings of this very special family of lions, and amongst those, one was quite outstanding: Guide Herman and his guests found the Amahoro family close to the lake shore, one of their preferred places to be.
Not exactly starving, but surely already anticipating their next meal and feeling the natural urge to constantly practice their hunting skills, the four youngsters suddenly set off after a baby hippopotamus. The very young hippo – not older than two months – had ventured a little bit too far from its mother while exploring the shoreline and was taken completely by surprise. When it realised what was happening the young lions were already on top of it, biting its neck and face, trying to take it down as quickly as possible.
Facing the grotesque mask of death the small hippo calf developed incredible strength, running towards its mother, which came charging for help, fending off the lions. The cats finally made a run from the hippo mother's gaping mouth, with its razor-sharp tusks ready to do whatever it took to save her baby. This was a narrow escape and Herman’s guests, two seasoned safarigoers, were genuinely relieved about the happy end for the young hippo.
Children in the Wilderness and people of Magashi
Children in the Wilderness at Akayange Primary and Rwabiharamba Secondary schools
At our partner school Akayange Primary, the CITW Eco-Clubs are in full swing. Every Wednesday afternoon the clubs meet for fun and educational activities, with 60 students eager to learn more about their environment and conservation.
Since the start of the school year at the end of September, new club members were selected to join after students from last year continued on to secondary school. Since so many students would like to join the club and the capacity of the club is only 60 students, a small test was conducted to select the most environmentally motivated children.
At Rwabiharamba Secondary School, Children in the Wilderness sponsor 30 scholarships for the duration of the children’s six years of schooling. The scholarships include school fees, meals, uniforms and school materials. This school year we have a total of 14 students in the first year, called Senior 1 in Rwanda. In Senior 2 we sponsor six students and in Senior 3 a total of 10 students. Aline Umutoni organised school uniforms for all of them, and they received their new sets at the beginning of October.
Another beautiful Magashi couple tied the knot
After the Magashi family celebrated three staff members getting married in September, our wonderful guide Herman and his beautiful partner Sarah tied the knot in October. The whole Magashi team wishes Herman and Sarah all the best for a bright future together.
Magashi celebrates 40 years of Wilderness
The Magashi team celebrated the huge milestone of 40 years of Wilderness in style at the end of October. The entire team joined in for a tasty and well-prepared lunch, followed by very funny and active team-building games. The games ended with a quiz about Wilderness, and after that the scores were calculated and the winning team was announced to receive their ‘gold’ medals!
The team also enjoyed watching beautiful Wilderness videos, especially the video all about the people of Wilderness. The afternoon ended with a friendly match of soccer. What a day!
Our Magashi team is convinced that Wilderness is not a place, it is a feeling. The whole team is very proud to be part of the Wilderness family!
What a special place! Exceeds my wildest expectations! The staff, the environment and the game drives were fabulous! Thank you for everything!
Lisa, Chicago, IL USA
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