Happy New Year to you. Wishing you the very best for the year as we wave off 2023 with a big smile and fond memories and look forward to plenty of travels and adventures to be had. Here at Nkwali it has been non-stop, and one thing is for sure is we have certainly seen the end of 2023 off with some fabulous sightings.
The team have been on a massive rollercoaster ride the last few weeks with full camp and houses. Super-hot weather culminating in a big day of rain bringing new life and vigour to everything around. The seasonal birds are all in with the knob-nosed ducks, Abdim storks and plenty of cuckoos, snipes and sandpipers and luckily, we have had some twitchers in camp who have been lapping this up and the bird checklists are certainly being put to the test.
The flowers are also in full bloom with the wild ginger, spider lilles, vlei lillies and fireball lillies all poking their stunning colours out of the electric green bush and are a real treat if you take the time to look a little closer. On the subject of looking closer the red velvet mites can be found busy minding their own business and ever pile of dung is never left for long as the dung beetles in all shapes and sizes get their dung balls rolled ready for putting their eggs in. The evenings can be a little hectic if the termites come out but with them the vervet monkeys stay up late to feast on them as well as the bushbabies coming out early as no one is wanting to miss out on that feast.
The larger animals have also been showing off for the crowds with lots of elephants, zebra and even buffalo. The giraffes wander cautiously through the muddy ground picking up even more height as they gain gloop on the base of their hooves. And the young impala are now fully integrated into herd life and are shooting up at a rate of knots. Predators have also been a plenty this last week as if to really end the year with a bang and a roar. The Nkwali pride have been seen several times just behinds camp and, in the park, there have been plenty of sightings of other lions as well as leopard and wild dog.
John had a fabulous sighting of the lions early one afternoon as the whole pride of 15 were out in the open with the cubs who were doing their best to not annoy all the adults. Leaving the lions in peace the drive headed off in a different direction and it wasn’t long until they came across wild dogs and hyena on different sides of the car maybe the hyenas were just hanging out hoping the dogs would start hunting which they did but they moved off through the dense undergrowth that it was impossible to follow.
Away from the wildlife the team and guests saw the new year in with style with lots of fun and sparkling wine. We cannot wait for the new year ahead and sharing plenty more adventures and incredible sightings with you all. So, for now I am going to leave you all to it and wish you the very best of health and happiness for the new year and look forward to chatting to you again next week.