Since the last Bushmail in October things have changed in the Selous. While the area directly around Beho Beho has received little rain other parts of the Selous have had some decent showers already. This makes for a hard life for the local herd of Impala and the resident male Gnus, whereas most of the Buffalo herds have moved towards the areas with good rains to find fresh grass. The stragglers of those herds have been getting into trouble with our local clans of Spotted Hyena, who now have the numbers and confidence to take down adult buffalo when they come down to the Msini River to drink.
In recent days we have had more rain though and hopefully that will encourage the grass to grow and give our ‘locals’ some reprieve from the hardships of a prolonged dry season.
But every cloud has a silver lining and the waterhole has been spectacular during the days and nights attracting animals to our doorstep to come for a drink. Almost every day will bring at least one Elephant bull into camp but otherwise there is a succession of Impala, Warthog, Waterbuck and Yellow Baboon coming in for a sip or two. But the nights have really stood out with large congregations of Hippo, Buffalo and Elephant vying for a spot at the waterhole with good numbers of Hyena skulking around waiting for their turn.
Although no new Lion pride has taken the area around Beho Beho over since the mysterious disappearance of Bibi’s pride in the beginning of the season, we have been getting good sightings of them. From time to time the Phantom Pride, whose matriarch we nicknamed “The Bus” (yes, she is that big), comes through the Msini Valley and into camp. One morning, Phil and Roel came to camp early to investigate and found the entire pride in between Banda 4 and 5. We had also heard rumors that the Black Panther Pride had some additions and luckily Roel found a small part of the pride at Lake Tagalala recently where one of the older lionesses showed off her three new cubs.
After the usual dry spell of the Wild Dogs during their denning season, various packs have been spotted roaming around. Sometimes we see them from camp on the plains at the big Baobab and from our vantage point we really get a good view of their tactics when chasing game. It can also be fun to watch them amble up to a territorial Gnu bull to see if he is willing to run away so that they can give chase, only to be chased themselves. The lone bulls do not survive out there alone because they do not know how to defend themselves!
So we look back to another year with so much happening around us and we are happy that we can welcome our guests to visit us in this little piece of the world where time almost stands still.
Greetings from Phil, Tricia, Roel, Nico, Simba, Saning’o, Godlisten and the rest of the Beho Beho Family. We all hope you had a festive season filled with joy and loved ones.