We are all back from our 6 weeks away and happy to be back in a lush, green and well-watered Selous. As we flew over the Selous landscape, excited to get home, we all commented that the lakes and river looked very high and that it seemed more of a waterscape right now.
There had clearly been good rains whilst we had been away, the flora has flourished – fruits and flowers abound, the place is buzzing with activity.
The team this season will be sadly lacking two big characters, Jaffet Mbonde, who was part of our maintenance team has left us after many years to spend more time with his family in Songea, we will miss him and wish him all the best. We will also be without Salum this season as he is taking a sabbatical, and although we shall all miss him, his big smile and infectious enthusiasm, we know it is not goodbye and we look forward to the day he returns.
As soon as we had arrived, we were all keen to see if our regular visitors were still around.
Fred our local young bush buck ram was the first to be spotted, he has definitely grown whilst we have been away, his coat is darkening from the russet colours of an immature male, towards an adult males grey and his horns have another inch on them, otherwise he is as we remember him – full of beans and springing around. Some new additions to our camp regulars are two Impala rams, which we have christened Castor and Pollux, the twins of the Gemini constellation, not quite as trusting of us as Fred is but clearly enjoying camp all the same.
The Elephants are still getting used to the fact that there are lots of people moving around camp again it seems, but a few have been through and we can usually spot them down in the beautiful Msine valley as we drink our afternoon tea.
We soon welcomed our first guests, a wedding party. The Bride and Groom, of course, being Walter and Karin. It was truly a stunning wedding and a very special time for all of us here at Beho Beho and the wedding guests. But I shall leave the explanation of it there and you can read more about it and see the photos in a separate blog.
Having our first guests provided us with ample opportunity to get out and explore all our old haunts. Its amazing how it can all feel so fresh and new after only 6 weeks away, but it really does and you appreciate it deeply all over again – winding our way through riverine and palm forests in dappled morning and evening light, the hint of wild Jasmine or Rough leaved Lavender Croton in the air, with streaks of bright colour passing by, a Bohm’s Bee-eater or a Racket-tailed roller accompanied by the low rumbling of a nearby Elephant. And then out onto busy plains with zebra, wildebeest, giraffes, eland and impala, joined by the odd warthog.
Leopards have been calling frequently at night in the valley below camp, Walter spotted 6 Lions he did not recognize, and fresh wild dog tracks were found on the airstrip yesterday morning.
It’s all out there waiting for us to find it and we look forward to welcoming friends new and old to help us explore and share in our little piece of wilderness with us. We also look forward to welcoming back and congratulating in person the winner of last seasons photo competition, Amanda Woffenden, a fantastic shot of some dramatic Hippo behaviour, Well done Amanda and see you soon.
Warm greetings from the heart of the Selous,
Walter, Karin, Phil, Tricia, Heribert, Godlisten, Saning’o and the entire Beho Beho Team.