September is a great month to spend time with the giants of Africa, elephants, as the water is drying up from most water holes making them follow the main streams. It is a warm month and to enjoy the cool breeze of the night that is complemented by the soothing smell of the wild sage one has to keep the tent flaps up. There is nothing that brings you closer to nature like getting a night surprise visit of an elephant coming to eat next to your tent in the full glow of the moon outside.
On the newsletter front, Explorers has been somewhat quiet, we’ve been the sleepy sloths of newsletter writers, but really, it’s been quite the contrary here at our beautiful little camp on the Selinda Spillway. So, in essence, this is not so much of an “August Newsletter”, but rather a “Peak Season Newsletter” where I will try, despite my unrelenting urge to ramble on for hours with camp stories, to give a (somewhat) brief account of the wonderful highlights we’ve had so far.
The month of June means our beanies are out and the elephants are in! As winter settles on Duba Plains the bush dries up and the water levels rise to the maximum, both these changes making for fantastic game viewing. Game drives have been extra exciting as our “Puddle Jumper” Toyota Land Cruisers become amphibious to get around the concession.
So much has been happening in May at our little Explorers Camp on the Selinda Spillway – Northern Botswana, and where to even begin seems somewhat of a challenge. We’ve had an absolutely fantastic month, not only for the spectacular sightings but for the incredible fun we’ve been having with our guests and staff. They say a picture tells a thousand words, so, here’s one thousand to start off with the rarest mammal in southern Africa right in the centre of camp – A Wild Dog.
As many of you know, Richard and Lorna are no longer managing Mara Plains (although they always have a seat at the table) and are onto other projects. Richard is the warden of the Olare Motorogi Conservancy while Lorna is assisting with community outreach.
In this capacity, we have Richard’s latest Olare Motorogi Wildlife report- May 2014.
It’s a must-read for all you wildlife junkies. #whyILoveKenya
Two things come to mind at Duba at the start of the floods. The thrill of seeing water in huge amounts as well as the logistical challenges that comes with the floods. At the end of the day the answer is just simple; these are not the first floods we’ve been through and not the highest we’ve seen, therefore pre-planning plays a big part. May is a month of many activities, Elephants migrating to areas where there’s water, floods rising and delta islands get smaller, roads coming underwater.
A O.K. May
We are going to keep this month’s weather update short and sweet by saying that there are no temperatures that cannot be overcome by a hot cup of tea or coffee at your doorstep, one of our guides’ ponchos (which have a surprising cuddly inner ☺) and a ‘bush baby’, (bush baby is ‘safari language’ for hot water bottle) which are even more cuddly.
So, nothing to worry about! And if this does not sound like vacation in your ears, just remember that after every hour of game drive you will be peeling off one layer of clothes, guaranteed.
Excitement is all over Botswana with the official announcement that one of our three Wild Dog packs are denning.
Winter is coming!
Many of our followers in civilization might recognize the phrase “Winter is coming…” from the television series ‘Game of Thrones’. (For those who are a little behind – it is apparently a very popular show so catch-up, you do not live in the bush!)
It has been a great leopard month. The camp main area is built around tall jackal-berry trees which are home to a troop of baboons. One evening while were sitting by the fire place we started hearing an alarm call from the baboons and we wondered what could be scaring them in the dark. The guide explained that there could be a lion, leopard or hyena walking through camp.