The Bush Telegraph
“Adopt the pace of nature, her secret is patience
Go out, go out I beg of you, and taste the beauty of the wild!
Behold the miracle of the earth, with all the wonder of a child” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Warmest season’s greetings from our home to yours!
We trust that you are all safe & healthy in these uncertain times.
But one thing remains unchanged …. nature, in all its glory!
Take a journey through our wonderful tales & photographs of what nature has been sharing with us during the last quarter!
We are well into our summer months now and, as you can see from the below rainfall chart, we have been blessed with some good rains so far this season. November was a bit low & into December the bush was starting to look a little dry, until middle to end December when we received most of our rain for the month. The bush is so incredibly lush & green. The temperatures have been high 30’s to early 40’s, with intense humidity from all the rain & the critters are out & about.
The Klaserie River came down with a strong steady flow on 23rd December, a sight to behold!
Design: Amy | Photo: Natasha
Photos: OTS Camera Traps
On Track Safaris Camera Traps
Thank you, Will & Carol, for your continued support.
We have three traps set up:
2 at Nzumba Waterhole
1 at Dundee Waterhole
Follow us on Instagram or Facebook for monthly favourite photos (links below).
Photos – (L): Natasha – Tawny Eagle // (R): Karolina – Brown-Hooded Kingfisher
Summertime is just spectacular for birding, with all the migratory birds back & males in breeding plumage.
This quarter did not disappoint bird enthusiasts at all.
The infamous Woodlands Kingfisher was first heard calling on 23rd Nov.
Some special sightings included:
Grey-Headed Kingfisher (extremely rare), Kori Bustard & Ground Hornbills.
Photos – (L): Nate – // (R): Natasha
General Game Sightings
Impala lambs dropped earlier this year due to good early rains providing sufficient nourishment for the moms – plenty of cute nurseries everywhere.
Our airstrip Wildebeest have had a good breeding season, with 6 calves, 1 lost.
We have had phenomenal sightings of large herds of zebra & giraffe.
Industrious dung beetles are hard at work!
Some interesting sightings include genet, banded mongoose, a black mamba & african wild cat.
Due to the economic crisis due to Covid19, resulting in a steep increase in job loss & poverty, we are once again on extreme high alert for the safety of our rhino, as financial gain from poaching these beautiful animals is enticing in desperate times.
Our guides are very wary to take photos & post on social media platforms.
Photos – (L): Karolina – // (R): Nate
Oct: all sightings were of dagha boys, apart from a breeding herd of approx. 200 seen by Craig on Thompsons Airstrip
Nov & Dec: all sightings were of dagha boys.
There were not a vast number of sightings, but consistent viewings of small herds of dagha boys, which are always entertaining with the grumpy old men!
Photos – (L): Frikkie – // (R): Natasha
Elephant sightings have been good throughout the properties. Apart from impala, they are the most photographed animal on the camera traps.
Sightings are a mix of bulls & numerous small breeding herds of up to 40.
In November, 2 big herds were seen in the Klaserie River on Timbila.
There are a lot of young calves within the breeding herds, cuteness overload!
Photos – (L): Stefan – // (R): Craig
New Hyena Den
We have had good consistent sightings of hyena throughout the quarter & also popular on the camera traps. It is allways a pleasure to view & learn more about them!
The highlight of the quarter was Craig locating a new hyena den on Thompsons property, comprising of 4 adults & 8 cubs. Being curious by nature, this den provided our guests with some incredible experiences with the youngsters interested in us, as much as we were in them.
Photos – (L): Stefan – // (R): Nate
Wild Dog Frenzy
These last 3 months have been outstanding for Wild Dog sightings, we have been truly spoilt!
Oct: 6 sightings, mostly on Thompsons/Bernitz/Bach properties.
Nov: 4 sightings – 1 at Nzumba, others Thompsons/Bernitz
Dec: 10 sightings on various properties.
On 10th Dec, while Craig & Patric were out scouting for Stefan, they found a pack of 35 wild dog at Nzumba Waterhole.
Here is Stefan’s write-up on his experiences with this amazing pack:
“Sightings of African Wild Dogs are always special. A sighting of a pack of 35 (possibly even more) is even more so! It is not common for wild dog packs to have such high numbers, but it does happen every now and again.
We recently managed to spend 3 of our 4 drives with this massive pack:
We joined them on hunts where the poor Impala lamb population took a huge knock.
We spent time in the shade with them as they rested.
We even managed to catch them as they swam and played in the water to get some relief from the Lowveld heat.
They also had quite a bit of interaction with large numbers of spotted hyenas, and of course.
Best of all: we were there to witness it all!
Those 3 game drives, and the hours we got to spend with the dogs were truly special.
That surely is something that would stick with all of us for the rest of our lives”
Photo – (L): Stefan – // (R): Craig (Hosi)
King of the Jungle
There is so much excitement regarding lion sightings. They have ranged from
– the Timbila Pride (going strong and breeding well);
– to the Rusermi Pride around Dundee/Nzumba;
– to the River Pride who stepped out of their usual (unaccessible to us) territory for our guests to enjoy this pride of 22 strong on Thompsons/Bernitz/Bach;
– to a lone female that has been mating (Craig thinks her sister was killed but she has been surviving well on her own – very unusual).
– Nzumba Waterhole has seen frequent lion activity.
Oct: 8 sightings // Nov: 6 sightings (including a few unknown males) // Dec: 8 sightings.
(sightings are based on the camera traps & guest sightings)
Photo – (L): Karolina – // (R): Nate (Dundee Male)
The Dundee male is definitely our most photographed leopard, our very relaxed male with his territory around Dundee.
The small female that frequents Kitara & Nyeleti has also been seen on several occasions at Nyeleti walking past our house.
Oct: 10 sightings incl. 1 x mating pair seen by Stefan, as well as Manzi & her cub were also seen on Bach property by Stefan & Craig on 2 different occasions
Nov: 7 sightings incl. 1 x unidentified skittish male & an unidentified female seen by Craig
Dec: 7 sightings, most being Dundee male & 1 sighting of Lamula on River Road
(sightings are based on the camera traps & guest sightings)
Photos – Frikkie
OUR TEAM OF TALENTED PHOTOGRAPHERS
THANK YOU FOR THESE INCREDIBLE PHOTOS!
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Written by: Lee-Anne Detert
Contact details: Reservations: firstname.lastname@example.org