June is undoubtedly one of my favourite months to be in the bush. The departing rains leave trickling streams across the Beho Beho River which for most of the guest season is a dry sand river. The air is cooler, and mornings can be crisp, the grasses are still green after the rains, and the land feels untouched and wild again. It’s very easy to ‘lose’ an afternoon watching the light dance across Kipalala as the sun quickly fades.
It’s also a time for new beginnings. This year we’ve welcomed Roel van Muiden to our guiding and management team. He brings more than 10 years of experience as a trails guide in South Africa, Namibia and Kenya. Along with being an excellent guide, he has a wicked eye for photography.
Additionally, we have brought Nico Vorster on board as our culinary trained food and beverage manager. His passion for cooking began as a youngster in his mom’s bakery and grandma’s pancake house in South Africa, and has taken him as far as the United States for his training and work experience. We’re looking forward to the tasty delights he’ll be working on with the kitchen team this year.
This season also marks the beginning of Godlisten’s trails guiding career. After years of walking in the bush, he spent last December in Botswana training to be a walking guide. This month Godlisten has been leading and backing up walking safaris exploring the Msine Valley with nice sightings of elephants and a hippo or two.
Although we’re only 2 weeks into the season, Selous is already revealing some of its hidden gems. For the last season we’ve heard rumors and seen tracks of a leopardess and her cub that wander the dirt tracks up to our houses. A few days ago Saning’o rushed me from the office imploring that I bring Phil’s ‘bazooka’ – our pet name for his 500mm lens – as he’d spotted two leopards near the airstrip. Rarely having such an opportunity we rushed over to the Tamarind tree where they’d been seen and waited patiently, while a hyena kicked away the flies in a nearby palm bush, until finally she emerged from the sheltering foliage and sat in the open with her cub in tow.
And amazingly that hasn’t been our only leopard sighting! That elusive spotty cat has been seen by guests hunting scrub hare in a drainage line near the Little Serengeti plains, and near the Hot Springs on a Tagalala trip. Some guests have all the luck!
Bibi’s pride has been active in the last two weeks, guarding a defeated giraffe from encroaching vultures and hyena, and a few days later finding themselves up against a growing clan of hyena trespassing on their zebra feast. Titan and the Gardener (our resident bull elephants) have been busy ‘pruning’ trees around camp, and even Fred, the resident bushbuck, has been seen showing off his larger than ever big boy horns.
With such an exceptional start, we hope that these sightings continue for all of our guests this season. Whether this will be your first trip to Beho Beho, or if you are one of our many return guests this year, we look forward to welcoming you soon!
We would also like to say a big congratulations to Philip Wynn for winning the 2015/16 photo competition with this fantastic photo.
Philip wins 3 nights for 2 people at Beho Beho.