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Tubu Tree Camp – February 2013

February 13, 2013 Southern Africa Bush Tails

Weather and Landscape
Warm and humid days are being cooled down by the approach of thunderstorms in the late afternoons.

The rumbles can he heard from a distance, as we get excited about the incoming rain, we start closing up and moving all the furniture that can get wet.

And then the rain comes: The drops fall as the lightning hits the ground not far from camp – and then the drops stop! The soil is not even wet as the heated sand causes the drops to evaporate so quickly. This is what the weather has been doing to us for days on end. Every day we have thought: “ah, the big one is coming today” but to no avail.


Close to the end of the month however, we received that big one… on the one afternoon when we least expected it. The wind suddenly picked up and then the rain came. The wind was blowing so hard that the rain was falling sideways! For about 30 minutes we were being blessed with rain and then as quickly as it came down it was gone. The wind was blowing so hard that it completely uprooted three big knob thorn trees in the staff village.

The bush is lush green with the rain that we have received in the last month.

This has been a month of leopards.

The Impala Ridge Female has taken over more territory towards the north (airstrip area) and we have seen her there on a few occasions during the month. With the Lebala Female being displaced by the Impala Ridge Female, we have seen Lebala all over the island, as she is now looking for an area w hich she can call hers.



After two years of not being seen, we saw Keledi again in the northern parts of the island, and she was not alone, she brought a cub with her! We estimate the cub to be about five or six months old. She has made herself at home in the northern parts.

As for the Tubu Female and her two cubs, they have been seen as well. The two cubs are spending more and more time away from their mother as they are starting to become independent. The one cub was spotted one night sitting on t he roof of the manager’s tent, and when the vehicle came closer he jumped up into the tree beside the management tent and proceeded to relax there, his bulging belly showing he’d fed recently. The managers couldn’t get into their room for a few hours. He has become very relaxed – just like his mother.

There have also been lots of hyaena sightings this month around camp. Five adults were spotted in the floodplain lying in the early morning sunlight while on other occasions we have seen them at night from the deck as they chase impala or zebra past the camp; by the look of things, this is more for the fun of chase than for the kill. On New Year’s Eve (make that New Year’s morning) the hyaenas killed an impala in front of Tent 3.

The cheetah that were here last month had left by the first week of the month. We had hoped that they would stay for longer, but we were not so lucky.

General game sightings around the island have been great as well. Large herds of zebra, blue wildebeest, kudu, giraffe as well as ele phants are seen regularly. On a partly overcast evening, despite the ominous clouds, we decided to set up for a bush dinner, but it all worked out great, weather -wise. During dinner we kept a lookout for the hyaena that normally come to join us, but they did not arrive. While we were casually talking during dinner, we heard the loud rumble behind us. As we lifted our torches, we saw a herd of elephants not 20 metres away from us, some drinking water while others were looking at us. As quietly as they arrive d they disappeared into the darkness, with the only sound being the breaking of branches as they fed.

One night while we were having pre -dinner drinks at the beautiful Tubu Bar, a tree mouse climbed down the marula tree and came to sniff at the bar snacks before casually turning around and climbing back up the tree. We were all speechless at the little guy, since he was so relaxed. While standing at the bar that same night the guests asked about genets. We told them all about genets and showed them pictures and not long afterwards we went through for dinner. We were busy with the main course when Eloise heard soft running steps on the deck behind her as she sat at the end of the table, she turned her head to the door and there came a genet running at full speed into the dining room! Realising that he was not alone, he tried to reverse, braking before jumping onto the pathway going to the bar, where he disappeared – what an exciting dinner!

Birds and Birding
We have seen a few red -necked falcons around camp as well as close to the airstrip. There are also large flocks of collard pratincoles that were spotted on the northern parts of the island close to Harry’s Baobab it seems that they may breeding there.



Guest Comments
“We had incredible bird and animal sightings, in particular the fantastic leopard sightings! The very good knowledge of management and staff was the cherry on top. Special touches – the welcome on our return from drives and the printed info scrolls. The beautiful location and vista that gr eeted us every morning!
The orchestra of bird song in the early morning and the tranquillity was all extraordinary.”
“We had seven different leopard sightings. The excellent guide, GT made our safari so much more. Definitely one of the best camps I have been to.”

Staff in Camp Managers: Eloise and Hein Holton.
Guides: Kambango Sinimbo, Gibson Kehemetswe and GT Sarepito.