The arrival of the herds.
This month we have selected the top ten experiences and sightings for May at Zarafa:
1. Foster following a lion kill, of an old male buffalo. A gripping morning for the guests having picked up the 14 strong pride and then watch as they chased the “daga” boy into the waters of the Linyanti. As a guests put it “a sad moment highlighting the rawness of the wilderness that we are surrounded by”.
2. Reuben finding a lion pride which chased a leopard up a tree. The lions then surrounding the tree all day. The distressed leopard hung on for ten hours until the pride moved on.
3. Upon taking a guest to their rooms we found a herd of close to 100 buffalo on the flood plain opposite camp. In the four years of Zarafa’s existing we have never witnessed such a moment. This indicates a mass change in the environment this season, see below.
4. Photographic workshops. David and Foster spent 2 days teaching a group of guests how to build a sizable portfolio of images of the Selinda Reserve. At the end of the three night stay, they presented a slideshow, to African music, to the group of the best 100 shots that they compiled. Considering the group had never used telephoto lenses, which we supplied them with, some of the images were of publishable quality.
5. The new “Breakfast to Go” was launched and in full swing. Rather then having breakfast in camp we provide a wicker picnic basket with all sorts of goodies. It means the guests have been able to decide when they want to have breakfast but more so capitalize on the best photographic light and even capture those hyena on their way home to the dens by heading out on their morning safari drive at first light
6. Safari wine tasting on HES Zibadianja. A first for Zarafa. As the guests watched the sunset they sampled our fines wines and had to guess the grapes they were trying. Without giving too much away we provide some assistance by giving clues by relating the wines characteristics to animals behavior. What wine do you think would be the Elephant of wines?
7. A sunrise breakfast on the boat. Capturing the moment from the platform boat on the Zibidianja Lagoon. Perfect for capturing the pink reflections with photographic assistance from Reuben and Foster.
8. The staff coming out to sing on our new bush dinner setup. Old world rugs and trunks transport you back to the 1920’s surrounded by glowing fires, lanterns and then the harmony of the staff adding the true essence of Africa to the surroundings.
9. Spending time by the water. Elephants galore so early in the season. They are simply every where. We now need to leave slightly earlier on the way to the airstrip in case we have a road block.
10. The new Zarafacino chinos added at dinner with a hint of Amarula. Cappucino made with milk and Amarula as an after dinner treat. What would we call this? A “Zarafaamarulacinno”?
As mentioned above we are seeing great herds of Elephant, Wildebeast, Zebra, Buffalo arrive far earlier than normal in the season. Our rainy season this year saw 200mm less rain this year than the previous. This has meant that many water pans surrounding our permanent waters have dried up. This therefore means that these herds only have one place to drink and that is in the areas where Zarafa and Selinda are placed. We will not see rain until November so we are looking at a bumper year for wildlife sightings.
Tags: 60 Minutes, Botswana Luxury Safari, Botswana Photographic Safari, Cape Buffalo, Dereck and Beverly Joubert, Elephants, Great Plains Conservation, HES Zibadianja, Leopards, Linyanti, Selinda Reserve, The Last Lions, Wildebeest, Zarafa Camp, zebra
This entry was posted on Monday, June 4th, 2012 at 8:59 am
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