It’s Monday 18th August 2008 and Mid Season Highlights from Nsefu


It’s Monday 18th August 2008 and Mid Season Highlights from Nsefu

Over the past week or two the temperatures have risen slightly – jumpers (sweaters) are becoming optional except for in the early mornings. The August winds have arrived and they are quite happily blowing all the sausage tree leaves off and around, making it a noisy place. Even a small skink sounds big and scary as it crosses the crinkly leaves. Some of the plants start flowering again, and this shaving-brush combretum, just outside of the Nsefu bar, has attracted several collared sunbirds, providing great entertainment without having to step outside camp. Also just outside of camp the elephants are crossing the river on a regular basis, but we’re not quite at the point where we can set our watches on it!

Collared  sunbirdElephants crossing in  front of Nsefu

Simon recently had a magical drive (one of his top 5 drives ever) with Julie and Jane who are keen photographers. They rose before the crack of dawn (0430 am!) to head out towards the hot springs and were rewarded with a fabulous sight of a serval munching on a bushy tailed mongoose. Serval are rarely seen and don’t usually hang around for very long, so this was an exceptionally lucky start to the drive. They arrived at the hot springs in time for sunrise and a yummy cooked breakfast. This is a fantastic area with plenty of game (although we do recommend following Jane & Julie’s example and get there and back again before the mid-day heat).  The hot springs are also home to beautiful salt crystals … even though they are not the salt pans. While everyone was wiping the crumbs off their brekkie plates two groups of wild dogs shot past. A quick pack up was called for and the group followed them on their merry way. This followed by lots of other great sights including a Pel’s fishing owl and three crocs in a gully on Mtanda Plain feasting on a puku. Not bad for a mornings work.

ServalSalt crystal at the hot springs

On another drive with Jane and Julie, Simon found Hazel Eyes being approached by her 8 month old cub. It took the cub almost 20 minutes to get close her mum, but after introductions they had great fun playing a bit of rough and tumble. Kataba (the one-eyed leopard) has not been seen for a few months and it seems that a new female that has taken over her home range. She is calm and relaxed by the vehicles, but as of now she has not been named (just referred to as the “New Female”) and is easily identifiable by a V-pattern of spots above her left eye.

Rough and tumble with Hazel EyesThe New Female

While we’re on the subject of new residents a coalition of four male lions has moved into the area and spend their time with the girls from the Nsefu pride.  They don’t have big manes so it is only on closer inspection that you can identify them as males. Here they were found in Croc River relaxing after having their fill of a buffalo. The vultures were also hanging around to see what tid-bits would come their way.

New coalition of male lionsSunset and hooded vultures

As it is the middle of the season everyone is susceptible to a little madness – from Vicky, the super efficient caterer at Nsefu to the Ellie picking on the baboons! Let’s see what the rest of season has to offer us.

VickyElephant having a go at  baboon

Cheers

Fiona

(Fiona)

 

Zebra

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