Well here we are, another season over and what a season it has been!
The excitement started even before we had opened up to guests when late one afternoon as we were busy working on getting camp ready for opening, Phil spotted a Rhino out at the base of Kipalala hill, beyond the prominent Tamarind Tree on the plains onto which we look out over from camp.
An extremely rare sighting here in Selous and so we decided this was a good omen for the season ahead.
And it has indeed been a fantastic season with some great sightings throughout.
Lion sightings this season have been dominated by the arrival of 4 new males on the scene. They came from the west at the height of the dry season, having never been seen before, they seem to like it here and have stuck around. Young but powerful they would definitely pose a threat to the remaining 2 of the 3 musketeers and they are not hiding either, being very vocal roaring all night on occasion. When they are around they really love to hang out around our Msine valley, Beho Beho camp and airstrip area. So we can expect more to come from them next season.
Bull elephants frequenting camp often have provided us with fantastic experiences, sitting in the comfort of the camp and having one of these magnificent beasts approach close by to peacefully feed on the surrounding vegetation is a real privilege and then to watch them happily douse themselves with water from our waterhole revelling in the cool water is magical.
We have enjoyed some great birding throughout, with early sightings of our Humblots Heron at the regular Heronry on one shoreline of Lake Tagalala, a chick was viewed too, could our Humblots Heron be Hybridizing with a grey Heron?
We will be trying to gather some more info on that in the new season.
More recently we have had a delightful array, of migratory birds, the star of which remain the ever popular Northern Carmine Bee-eaters who’s antics following the vehicles catching insects that we disturb is an experience which never gets old.
Around the seasonal pans at this time of year, we sometimes get lucky and spot the uncommonly seen Greater Painted Snipe, of which the female has the more impressive plumage as this species is polyandrous with females attracting a mate and males looking after the eggs and chicks.
Wild Dog sightings have been frequent at the beginning of the season and at end of the season, with a period in middle of the season where they were nowhere to be seen.
But the sightings we have had have been great. We have seen them on foot several times including some hunting Impala towards the walking party. And some nice long sightings from the vehicles during which we have been able to follow them and watch them hunt, play and even chase the odd hyena around.
A pack even came through camp last week and approached Banda 6 watched from their balcony by our delighted guests Dave and Carol.
We have enjoyed welcoming guests from all over the world this season and we would like to thank each and every one of you for coming to share in our little hidden corner of Africa, its been so much fun with lots of Birthdays and anniversaries celebrated, cocktail parties, themed dinners, adventurous nights in the treehouse and relaxed boating safari’s on Lake Tagalala. Wonderful sightings, shared with great people.
But now the rains are falling harder and more frequently, and with the Impala rams beginning to rut on the plains near the ancient Baobab it can only mean one thing, its time to pack everything up for a month or so and go on Holidays ourselves.
Our Employee of the Season this year goes to an unsung hero: Japhet Mbonde.
Not many of you will of met Japhet but he has worked tirelessly behind the scenes as part of the maintenance team, from setting up Bush dinners to making sure our vehicles are always looking shiny and ensuring we always have a healthy water supply in camp.
It is a bitter sweet end to the season because Japhet will be leaving the company this year, living so far away in Songea means often a 2 day journey home for Japhet and he has decided after over 8 years with the company to move back home to be closer to his family.
We wish him all the best and we will all miss him and remember him fondly.
Good luck Japhet.
We would like to wish everyone a happy Easter period and we will be back and ready to welcome you all in June.
All the best
Walter, Karin, Phil, Tricia, Heribert, Salum, Godlisten, Saning’O and the whole Beho Beho family