So yet another season has started at Beho Beho and we have already had some great guests come and visit our little corner of the world. Although the soul of the camp will never change, the look of the camp does. We have not been sitting idle during the rainy season and have made some changes here and there. The most obvious ones at the pool and Banda 10, at the pool we have removed the old roofing structure and built something more permanent while also creating a nice area for a meal or to relax during the day. At Banda 10 we went a bit further, we knocked out a wall on the side, extended the floor outwards and added a plunge pool. Of course this had to be tested and we all agreed that hanging in the plunge pool with a cold drink while looking out into the bush was a good thing. Up at Bailey’s Banda we made some changes in the living room but the most noticeable change is the new platform that was built were guests can rest during the day and fabulous dinners can be enjoyed at night. One of the changes that happened was not our choice, the lookout point at the Hippo-pool was washed away during the rains and cannot be used at this time, but we will be looking for a new spot to use.
We also have some new family members that have joined us this season, although one of them is not too unfamiliar. First of all Heribert is back with us in the roll of Assistant Manager and we are very happy to have him back, as a man with his experience and background would be a valuable member of any team. In the Food and Beverage Department we had Vanessa join us from Namibia. She has worked there for many years in the Namib Desert and could not have picked a more contrasting place in terms of natural surroundings. But she brings with her a wealth of knowledge and ideas that we will gladly sample at mealtimes from now on. For the guests that were with us in December to February, they will remember Rama, a waiter that came to help us out over a few busy months. Rama used to work at Beho Beho previously but he decided back then that the big city of Dar es Salaam would suit him better so he transferred to the Oysterbay Hotel. During his three months in camp he realized that the bush is nicer than city life and when we asked him if he would like to come back to us on a permanent basis he happily agreed.
There is some sad news also unfortunately; The Gardener (a bull Elephant that frequented camp) has died recently due to injuries on his body and an ear, we do not know what happened to him but suspect it might have happened during a fight with another bull. The veterinarian team for the reserve was notified but by the time they made it down here it was too late and he had died. We all tell ourselves that is nature and the ‘circle-of-life’ and all that but it still makes us a bit sad, we shall miss him. Titan however is still going strong and seems to be keeping up as the largest bull in our area. He is a bit easier to recognize nowadays as he was volunteered to join a scientific study and he is now wearing a radio collar so that his movements can be tracked throughout the reserve, there are several other elephants in the reserve that are monitored this way. The reserve is also planning to collar some of the Wild Dogs in the same way in order to find out more about the health of the population.
The Beho Beho pride of lions is still doing very well and the pride currently consists of the three males, five adult females, one juvenile and six cubs. They seem to be doing really well and are found quite regularly with a kill of some sort, as you can imagine it takes quite a bit of effort to keep all these stomachs full. As the dry season intensifies they might even become regulars in front of camp again where they can relax and wait for the Cape Buffalo and other game to come for a drink. The Black Panther Pride is also still in the area, we can see them towards Lake Tagalala and sometimes on the Little Serengeti. The females in the pride are doing an exceptional job taking care of their offspring and all eight juveniles are still with them, generally it is said that only one in four cubs will survive their first year, but we keep our fingers crossed that all the little ones will grow up strong.
As I am writing this there is some rain on the way which is very unusual for this time of the year, normally we have no rain from about mid-May to November. It does not look like a big storm but it is unusual nonetheless. It kind of makes me think of my first season here at Beho Beho where we also experienced odd rains and then the November rains failed us and we went into a drought. We all hope it does not get to that again, as the wildlife suffers a lot during a drought and it is not nice to see them stressed as they have to move between ever dwindling food and water supplies. But we will keep positive and hope it does not get that far. Right now we are awaiting the arrival of the herds of Cape Buffalo that crowd our area in the dry season, one herd has already made its way here but the rest are still on their way (or so we hope). We are keen to find out if the white Buffalo cow will still be with them.
Roel, Heribert, Vanessa, Godlisten, Saning’o, Idrissa and the whole Beho Beho family.