In December it does begin to rain in the Selinda Reserve as we close on the rainy season. Clear skies in the morning are often greeted by dark ones in the afternoon harbouring thunder, lighting and the most tremendous of showers bringing life to our concession. With this water brings the most stunning green lush scenery as flowers bloom. This certainly is certainly a favourite time of year for many reasons, none other than it is fresh, green cool and simply beautiful.
For the photographers amongst you, it is great. The rain settles the dust so images tend to be that much sharper. There is also nothing like the sunsets at this time of year due to the cloud formations providing a beautiful pink reflection It allows animal shots with great back lighting with moody dark clouds in the background. We have been holding a number of workshops this month. Each room at Zarafa has a Canon D40 and 100-400mm lens, one of the most versatile for wildlife. From the beginner to the more advanced photographer we have been teaching guests how to get the best out of these cameras.
So what have been seen ? A Cats and Dogs extravaganza to say the least!
Our Wild Dog Pack is back with now only three adults but still nine six month old puppies. We are not certain what has happened to the other adults but certainly there has been some friction with the Linyanti pack leading to some deaths. With numerous sightings where in the world can you watch Wild Dog’s hunting whilst enjoying an outdoor shower. This was experienced by one of the guests one evening. We have also had about five actual kills in the camp including two directly in front of the guests’ decks. See the Zarafa Diaries for more updates.
Leopards have also been regular at Zarafa. The Mopani woodlands in the area are very well suited for their habitat. A surprised group were watching the sunset with their G&T’s with Dux, a francolin warning call was enough to alert him to the proximity of a leopard. The guests jumped back into the game drive vehicle to follow her to a stashed impala kill.
The Lions’ have been sporadic, which has allowed us to see more Leopards – they keep their heads down when Lion are in the area. We saw the Selinda pride male earlier in the month and the females towards the end of December. In fact one female Tau walked through camp last night, which certainly pricks the senses up and Foster managed to pick her up again this morning. The pride have split up sadly after the death of the dominant male during a fight with a neighbouring concessions male over territory. We can only wait to see what happens to the remaining seventeen in the pride, we will keep you posted.
Birding is by far the best at this time of year. The multitude of migrants passing through and breeding residents is incredible. The list is endless but watching the Carmine Bee eaters feeding must be a favourite for anyone to watch and even more so to photograph.
It really has been a month of honeymooners which is always fun for us pulling out all the stops. Zarafa has to be one of the most magical places to enjoy this special time. Out comes all the treats and surprises that we can think of to make their time extra special – bring out the pink champagne.
Our activities extend beyond driving and we have had some fantastic walks and used the “house” boat to great effect for sun downers and lunch cruises also. Night drives have been a winner with leopard, lion, hyaena and porcupine having been seen all in one night!
Christmas is buzzing at Selinda with the staff getting extremely excited. Our guests for Christmas have arrived and we are contemplating how we escort Mr Claus from room to room in the dark, perhaps entice him in with Amarula and Isinza’s finest Chocolate Brownies.
A very Merry Christmas to you all and we look forward to and exceptionally exciting 2012 with lots of new adventures in store. Follow the Zarafa Diaries for regular updates on out dispatches.
Tags: Botswana, Botswana Safari, cheetah, Dereck and Beverly Joubert, elephant, Great Plains Conservation, Hippo, leopard, Leopards, lion, lions, Okavango Delta, Safari, Selinda Reserve, Selinda Spillway, The Last Lions, Wild Dog, wildlife, Zarafa, Zarafa Camp
This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 4th, 2012 at 4:37 pm
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