Is it nearly the end of October already? No two days are the same in the bush, and the excitement and splendour of each passing hour sweeps them into days, weeks and months in a flash.
The area around Beho Beho has not disappointed as we’ve watched buffalo herds upwards of 300 cross the plains from Lake Tagalala, converging in the valley with a herd just as numerous emerging from the hills. The noise of the loosened rocks cascading down the slope under hoof, the dinning grunts as they decide whether to risk the descent toward unknown dangers to quench their thirst. We’ve seen the notorious leukistic cow amongst these herds, and seen that there is no longer one white buffalo, but two!
The impala lambing has started in earnest, and just in time after the impala population near us took a battering in late August and early September as a pack of 15 wild dogs gorged on two or three impala most mornings in a wake of hyena and vultures laying in wait. Each morning before the start of work we’d find Roel down by the pool or in the lookout banda scanning the plains and valley for the dogs, and often finding them on the move.
This has been a season of familiar faces for us as many guests from the last two years have been returning. In July, David, Imogen and Isabel returned, bringing new friends and family for birthday celebrations. Imogen’s nephew Sam was quickly titled the leopard whisperer after several fantastic sightings of leopard including one failed hunt. Francois and Daniela – firmly initiated into the Beho Beho family after their fourth visit – were absolutely spoilt with wild dogs and enjoyed the challenge of naming their ‘bird of the day’. The wild dog luck continued through the repeat stay of Alan and Gay – who came back hoping to find them. During morning walks with both Roel and Godlisten, Gay and Alan watched the wild dogs at close quarters as they hunted and socialised. They also had exciting lifers with Suni and Tanzania Sykes Monkey in the Beho Beho forest.
Norbert and Josette met Amanda (the 2014-15 photo competition winner) again, as by coincidence their visits overlapped. These three keen photographers enjoyed great luck finding lots of lions and leopard, elephant shrew and genet. Norbert and Josette were also the fortunate guests to see some of the first impala lambs of this season. Lastly so far – as we have more return guests to come this season – Tim and Sonya returned at the start of this month and, as Saning’o mentioned in his blog, straight off the plane were greeted by lions on a buffalo kill. The also met with their old elephant friend, Titan who crossed the Little Serengeti in his approach to their vehicle on their final evening.
Although we’ve started to see some short rain showers, the Selous is still dry. Beho Beho continues to be active with daily elephants – bulls and herds – visiting the waterhole, leopard calling in the night, and hippos making their nocturnal safaris in search of sustenance. We’re seeing Fred – our resident bush buck – just about daily as well as he knows our area is still a refuge for grasses and trees to forage and fresh water.
So until the rains arrive we will enjoy the bush and the congregations of wildlife around the few water sources available to them. The winds are picking up, bringing with them the promise of rain but we will have to wait and see when and how much rain it will bring us.