Weather and Landscape
A brand new year and already more great sightings! 2014 has started off with some amazing sightings at Mombo and it promises to be another memorable year in the heart of the Okavango Delta. After a prolonged period of rain at the very beginning of January, the weather returned to its usual ways with spectacular bursts of rain in the late afternoon, lasting 30-45 minutes before settling down. The rain gods were kind, and the storms would usually happen just prior to game drives, reducing the heat and stirring the animals from their torpor. The occasional thunderstorm at night in the distance brought with it stunning lightning displays as guests ate their dinner under the stars admiring Mother Nature as she outdid any New Year’s fireworks display that humans could muster. Temperatures have been hot, usually around the 30-degree Celsius mark during the day, dropping to a comfortable 22 degrees at night.
The zebra, warthog, impala and jackal ‘December babies’ are all getting larger by the day, but still have the playfulness of youth about them – always a joy to sit and watch as they explore their world and become slightly more confident with each sunset.
The hyaena mothers have moved their den yet again, this time back to the open area at Drift Malapo. The arrival of a vehicle is usually met with a few raised heads as they sleep before nightfall. Once they realise the car has stopped it’s a game to see who can get closest to the car and chew on the tyres! The guides are ever-vigilant not to let the cubs get too confident around humans and their turning of the steering wheel usually keeps them at distance from the easily removable wheel nut caps!
The pack of five male wild dogs is still visiting the area, chasing after impala, red lechwe and kudu. We are hoping they make Mombo their permanent home, but their free-spirited ways mean they are traversing a lot of Chief’s Island!
We were surprised to see an impala had given birth on the 24th of January. Usually impala, as the books will tell you, do so much earlier – around November or early December. We were amazed that she had given birth so late but the little one was full of spring and had enough vegetation behind which to conceal itself from predators. The lambs born during the first rains are hanging around in crèches watched over by their mothers. Herds of up to 150 impala can be seen grazing on the beautiful green shoots.
Leopard sightings have been phenomenal with three adults sighted in one tree! There were two males vying for Pula’s attention when lions came and spoiled the duel, sending all three into the rain tree.
The general game has been magnificent as usual, herds of buffalo in their hundreds, loping through the area and towers of giraffe reaching numbers of 25 as they graze off the bell bean, surrounded by herds of zebra, impala and always that one wildebeest who seems to think he is a zebra, or does he think he is a giraffe?! There have been elephant through camp, herds of red lechwe in the floodplains and hippo that come out at tea time to graze, even though they should be cooling themselves in the waters. The view from camp with the lush greenery and the abundance of animals is only equalled by the remarkable African sunset! We look forward to an amazing year ahead of meeting new friends, welcoming back old ones and witnessing the magic of Mombo!
On a more solemn note, Mombo bid farewell to three of its managers as they moved on to further their careers and education. Jemima, Cayley and Dani, we wish you the best of luck in your new adventures and thank you for everything you did in your time at The Place of Plenty! After 21 years of continued service at Mombo, Tumelo Modupe, affectionately known as Mma Ola of Housekeeping, has moved into an office job in Maun. She tutored numerous housekeepers and leaves a long-standing legacy at Mombo and we wish her the best of luck in her new role.
Staff in Camp
Managers and guides for the month of January for Main Camp and Little Mombo: Graham, Jemima, Cayley, Dani, Cheri, Sean and Britt with Ryan and Wayne in the kitchens. Out and about in the vehicles were Tsilie, Doctor, Cisco, Sefo and Callum while we welcomed OB from Vumbura and Diye from Kings Pool to add to our talented and close-knit guiding team!