The upside, however, is the amount of game coming to our waterholes. They are so interested in the water that they don’t care too much about us approaching. Quentin & his guests sat for a good hour & a half enjoying the spectacle of about 60 elephants slaking their thirst, playing in the water & loitering with intent. One could not get a better sighting!
We have eventually got a look at the new lion cubs from the York pride – all five of them & it looks like we have 4 girls & a boy. This is good news as there has been an excess of males in the last few litters. My big regret however is that I don’t have a picture for you as my camera was on the blink & I am waiting for a CD from a kind guest who took some great shots! Have a look next month!! But here is a picture of how it all started!!
This is the alpha male of the York pride (nicknamed Sultan) spreading his genes on 12 April 2005. Given that lions have a gestation period of approximately 110, days, this would make the cubs about 4 months old.
We also welcome James Carty to our Ranger team – just the kind of guy you want to take you on safari. He is well versed in the bush, having even taught school kids the ins & outs of their environment, so he has patience & people skills aplenty. He is based at our Bush Lodge & is receiving warm praise from his guests.
Our game drives are delivering magnificent sightings right now - real quality lion encounters, great experiences with elephants & rhino & there are some awesome buffalo bulls displaying themselves around Camp George. The spotted cat is proving very elusive but the thin bush is allowing us some wonderful cheetah view now & again.
We now have many birds nesting around the camps. A pair of African Hoopoes (Upupa epops) are providing endless entertainment as they feed their young in a Marula (Sclerocarya birrea) tree outside Rondawel 1.
There is not much to report on the flora side, as everything is just waiting for the rain. There has been a noticeable lack of blossoms from the Knobthorn Acacia (Acacia nigrescens) as well as the Marulas (Sclerocarya birrea) so it means a great shortage of seed pods & fruit later on in the year.
Trivia of the month The scientific name of the Marula tree is derived as follows:-
Sclerocarya – skleros (Greek) meaning hard & karya (Greek) meaning a nut tree, refers to its hard bony kernel in which the nuts are situated.
Birrea – Is derived from the common West African name for this tree, “birr”