Ntswi

Moremi Crossing Camp, January 2022

It rained a lot in the first three weeks of 2022, and the water has filled different parts of the Boro River channel, which runs in front of the camp. There has not been enough water to recommence boating safaris or to safely mokoro around the hippos that have found refuges in the deeper pools. Still, thanks to the cooler weather and cloud cover, we could conduct some brilliant nature walks, and these on-foot safaris have been wildly productive!  

During a nature walk one afternoon, we encountered several impala herds, a dazzle of zebra and watched in awe as a breeding herd of elephants crossed the river with mighty big splashing sounds.  

The general game has thrived with the fresh grasses and plentiful watering holes. Giraffe, warthogs, baboon troops and monkey gangs, red lechwe, common reedbuck, elephant, Spotted hyenas and widespread buffalo herds feeding in the lagoons were seen on game drives.

We saw several wild dog and leopard tracks, but the lions stole the show this month. On a morning game drive into Moremi Game Reserve, we came across a pride of five lions on Chief’s Island. The following day, they were joined by three other females, and we watched them as they patrolled the area in search of breakfast.

At the end of the month, we heard baboons alarming calling through the camp and on investigation, we tracked a big sub-adult male lion walking past the tents. Two Black-backed jackals and two Spotted hyenas were also very active in the area.

A flight of fireflies and African skimmers linger

Turning our eyes upward, Kwando Safaris guide Titus noted that “The sky has its own beauty at this time of year with heavy, ominous clouds”. It was also filled with summer visitors. The African skimmers flicked above the Boro River waters, and the Black coucals took full advantage of the long, rank grass in the marshes and flooded grasslands. We have also heard the distinctive calls of the Dideric and Jacobin cuckoo, Woodland Kingfisher and snapping beaks of the vivid Carmine bee-eaters (though they are admittedly starting to lose their colour). Big flocks of Collared pratincoles have also been observed, lots of Spur-winged geese, African fish eagle pairs, Wattled crane couples and plenty of storks.

Guests of Moremi Crossing Camp were really excited to see glow worms and fireflies at night. These enigmatic little insects are often seen in the vicinity of Sycamore fig trees, which are plentiful. The males can fly, while the females don’t possess these acrobatic abilities and as such are known as the ‘worms’.  

Dragonflies, butterflies, dung beetles and fishing spiders have also been plentiful. Walking also allowed us to witness the little Tok-tokkie beetle at work. The males tap their abdomens in a rhythmic pattern on the ground to gain the female’s attention. Perhaps in preparation for the upcoming Valentine’s Day…

(Note: Accompanying picture is from our Kwando Photo Library which consists of all your great photo submissions over the years, it may not be the most up to date, but we felt it was worthy of a feature alongside this month’s Sightings Report!)

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