Temperatures have been rising in the bush! With temperatures between 35-42 degrees Celcius we have become very aware now that summer has begun…but hopefully with summer the rains will return as well! Although we have had some good rain showers in the area, the bush is still very dry. But slowly we see the trees and grasses return, good news for the animals!
Unfortunately the drought is still in full swing, with animals struggling to find food and water resources. This still causes the animals to be displaced. The river has dropped to a historical low point, which has caused for some problems as animals all of a sudden are able to walk through the river and end up outside of the reserve. Unfortunately we can’t fence off a river so we put in a lot of effort to keep the wildlife safe inside the reserve. We have had to herd back elephants and buffalos multiple times to prevent them wandering into tribal lands and farm land. Also the predators are trying to sneak through fences with one cheetah being noticed into a neighboring piece of land were predators and large game do not exist. We noticed that the cheetah also had some wounds on her hind legs. We came into action right away with all volunteers and staff members upgrading the fence of the neighboring land as well as relocating and treating the cheetah. Once the vet darted her we inspected her wounds, and it seems like she got into a fight with a warthog. The wounds were stitched up and treated and she was released back into the reserve. The wounds did not seem to bother her too much as her hunting skills were still impeccable as she caught multiple impala in 1,5 weeks! Every time she was spotted her wounds were healing and she had a big round belly! A strong lady indeed!
We don’t have to explore the bush to get a full wildlife experience as our camp have been a hotspot for wildlife as well, with our 4 residential Wildebeest that have settled in as well as the odd group of Zebra stumbling around through the bush at night. The predators have also closed in as we have heard and seen hyena’s and a leopard walking around the perimeters of our camp and seem to enjoy their new relaxing spot next to the toilets! With all that hustle and bustle of wildlife around our camp, Thokombisa the black rhino wanted to know what’s so fun about spending time at our camp and decided to pay us a visit as well! He wasn’t too impressed though so moved off back into the bush…guess he doesn’t share the same taste in music!
Our Black Mamba ladies were visited this month by Veterans for Wildlife, which is an special organization were war veterans have turned their efforts to conservation and using their skills to assist in the protection of wildlife. Alice and Bill from Veterans for Wildlife spend almost 2 weeks with every Black Mamba group sharing their skills of combat and ideas of battling wildlife crime with the mambas. And of course spend some evenings around the fire enjoying a nice braai under the beautiful African starry sky!