Tailormade African Safaris by the Safari Legends
Just as you can’t bear it anymore, the seasons change and the dust turns to puddles. And we all breathe again and realise that everything is going to be okay. This is the time for new life – not only for the fauna, but for the flora too. Literally overnight the earth bursts forth with flowers, bulbs, grasses and shrubs. Dry twigs shake alive with bursts of green buds, snakes wake up, insects take flight and animals are born. It is a wonderful time of the year – especially because baby animals look so cute… you just can’t help the ‘ah sweet’ sentiment escaping your thoughts or lips.
Because the dry season was so fierce, with relentlessly long days of scorching temperatures, the area around Wilderness Safaris’ Hwange camps dried up and actually killed off a lot of the ‘good grass’ that should be now in full bloom. Which it is, but only in patches. This means then that these areas have huge concentrations of plains game – and it is a sight to behold. All of them with their young calves swanning around the grand open plains of Ngamo under coolly dramatic, thunderous skies..
There are huge herds of zebra, wildebeest and eland on the plains of Ngamo. But also further into the Wilderness Safaris concessions in Hwange National Park, around Scott’s Pan and Little Samavundla, are herds of sable that have given birth to a healthy nursery of little sable calves. In the green lushness of the wet season, these fawn-coloured calves are introduced to their new lives in a time of plenty.
The buffalo are always a wonderful sighting. The herds pass through the concession with the changing seasons and as pressures of each climate dictate. Right now the herd is in the south-eastern corner of Ngamo and they seem quite comfortable. Although they cover quite a large territory, they are definitely around and about.
Hwange is known for its elephant sightings; however, when the rains start, they disperse and the elephant pressure on the waterholes is abated. Yet, they were around, tending to come out more in the evenings to the various pans. There was one moment when Mike separated the herd. He was waiting in the road and saw what he thought was the entire herd crossing over, and so he quietly moved off, but that was not the case. The rest of the herd was still in the fringes of the forest and he had not seen them. A very grumpy female trumpeted, dramatically swaying her trunk, flapping her ears and stamping her foot, which caused the herd to regroup where she wanted them. But not before Mike managed to get a picture of her performance!
Written by Marian Myers
Photographed by Mike Myers