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Little Makalolo – March 2014

March 3, 2014 Southern Africa Bush Tails

Weather and Landscape
First-time travellers to Hwange National Park in the summer might never imagine that this area is a semi-desert. The vegetation is vividly green now and all the open plains are covered in grass. In the forest, grass is competing for light as the trees have formed a dense canopy. Most of the open plains, which were deserted by game, are now a hive of activity and calving and foaling are a daily event, attracting the attention of scavengers.

The beginning of the month was very hot and dry though the temperatures started decreasing with the arrival of the rains in the last week. The minimum temperature recorded was 19° Celsius with a maximum of 33°. The highest rainfall recorded was 30 mm and the lowest 1 mm; total rainfall for the month was 74 mm.

The month started on a high, with guests watching huge buffalo herds drinking and calving in front of camp. Being the favourites of lions, the buffalo would cause a frantic commotion ending, in many cases, with successful kills for the big cats, right in camp.

The presence of other herds around camp has made Little Makalolo the home of lions and their calls are heard every night and morning.

A coalition of two male cheetahs is seen time and again chasing baby impala.  They are so cunning now that they make their kills when it’s starting to get hot to avoid other super-predators, ruling Linkwasha Vlei. Guests have also been able to get great pictures as they are habituated to the vehicles.

Regardless of the summer season, elephants are still seen in big herds – along with sable, zebra, and wildebeest to name but a few.

Birds and Birding
Bird sightings in Hwange are outstanding and we were able to identify about 224 different species of birds this month. The resident crested francolin family is nesting; it took us some time to see where, as they are excellent at concealing their eggs. We were initially puzzled to see these little birds reducing in numbers but what we did not know is that some were now sitting on eggs! We cross our fingers that the plethora of predators overlooks them until they hatch and the guests don’t disturb them as one of the nests is at the swimming pool.

Guest Comments
“Entertaining camp, staff are number one, special catering for our dietary needs vv good” 

“Fantastic place, wakey wakey in the morning” 

“Game viewing with Douglas, moonrises and the last outside dinner”
Staff in Camp
Managers: Themba and Buhle 
Guides:  Themba and Douglas
Housekeeping: Ernest, Last
Maintenance:  Mpindi, Dumisani, Pious
Waiters: Manu, JB, Valanai 
Kitchen: Shepard, Innocent, Zesa