A Pitta’s Rain Dance

 

Hello from a humid, windy, overcast Mana Pools!

With the rain looming over us in thick heavy clouds, we’re preparing to get drenched for the first time this season.  It will be a welcome cleanse for the dusty dry bush… and for us bush lovers who have grown accustomed to sweating more liquid than we drink in a day!

The high temperatures aren’t the only reason I’ve been sweating.  The lions disappeared for most of the month. Their tracks disappeared high up the Chewuya Gorge and they weren’t coming back down to impress my guests.  They really made me work hard for them, and with  a fleeting glimpse of a cub or lioness, they left me entertaining eager photographers with rocks and vegetation!

Thankfully, the Wild Dog weren’t going to let the 5 day long safari turn into a botany and geography photography project. They came right to camp and posed like the supermodels of the bush that they are. I was very relieved!

The Wild Dog have since moved out and the lions have moved back in-announcing their return with an elephant kill close to the spring in front of camp a few nights ago!

On an even more exciting note, I saw my first African Pitta!  We went out this morning in search of the illusive bird, ducking and diving and weaving through elephant in thick bush, following its call.  What a moment!  It is such a beautiful bird.  Unfortunately, I did not get a picture, but we will be back next week to try again.  One of our Shareholders and pirvate guides in camp had the privilege to see the Pitta performing its rain dance.  There is an awesome video on the Kavinga Facebook page if you would like to have a look.

I will be going out for a break tomorrow and will finally get to do lot’s of fishing including a competition!

I’ll let you know how it goes!

Have a good week!

Siraaj

October is Here!

The August winds have blown us right through September and all of a sudden we’re half way through October. Now the famous Valley heat is starting to set in! The change in the season has resulted in an increase in thirsty animals. Eland drink at the spring everyday and there are countless numbers of impala, kudu and warthog at the pan during lunch time. Elephant cover the pan during the evening and keep our guests up with the splashes and trumpets.

The bird life at Kavinga has been fantastic. We have had regular sightings of the Yellow Billed Stork and Broad-billed Rollers. Carmine Bee-eaters decorate the bare trees like bright colored Christmas decorations. The Greater Painted Snipe is an exciting bird to tick off the Kavinga Bird List, and we have three of them at the pan as well as a flock of Southern Pochards in the pan! It won’t be long before we can start ticking off the African Pitta too. Eastern Nicators and Red-throated Twinspots sing in camp, while the White-Headed Vultures build their nest by the spring.

The lions have had us tracking them in circles and are now in the Chewuye Gorge with the cubs where they had killed a young elephant. The Wild Dog have not been seen for some time- since we noticed four of the pups were no longer with them.
The Baobabs have started flowering already along with a couple  of other trees that only normally flower much later in the season.

Some pretty strange and early changes this season, including some Leopard Tortoises walking about and Egyptian Geese passing through. We’re excited to see what the rest of the month has to offer!

Take Care of Yourselves,
Siraaj

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