Xigera – April 2018
Climate and Landscape
April marked the arrival of the inundation, slowly but surely trickling in through the dried tributary channels. We woke up one morning to find the channel in front of Xigera Camp swollen with dark-brown water gushing under the bridge, headed south. It quickly became apparent that life in the Okavango was about to change.
Temperatures have dropped and the beautiful dew and morning mist also shows that winter is fast approaching.
With the temperature dropping, the movement of lions, especially, has started to become apparent. They are moving south to areas with less water and bigger islands.
The wild dogs passed through for a goodbye patrol before the waters close them into too small an area. Hopefully it’s not the last time we will see them.
We had great lion activity this month. The two male lions from the north have met up with one of the Xigera females and they were seen mating for almost a week in the camp area. It was a marvel to watch.
Our leopards also did their daily show, crossing the bridge into camp during dinners and early mornings. But one female has been missing in action for a while now: the docile, camp-loving, carefree sub-adult. We think she might be expecting, as she would normally not be hiding like this. We’ll have to wait and see what the month of May has in store.
The wildlife highlight of the month was when our guide Wise was out on a game drive and spotted a leopard. He identified it as one of the youthful leopards that we have in the area. He parked his vehicle a distance away and, as he briefed his guests, he realised that the leopard was coming towards the vehicle. They kept their cool and took some amazing pictures as it came right up to them. It eventually came around and inspected the vehicle.
Our boats, which have been parked away from the channels, have been dusted off and serviced, ready for the arrival of the waters. The fishing rods have been checked and the fish hooks counted for the new season.
Accordingly, we launched our first boat cruise of the season this month – such a beautiful activity all our guests opted for it. Meanwhile, we continue to offer our beautiful mokoro outings and game drives. Interesting times at Xigera.
Birds and Birding
The birdlife is always beautiful. We discovered a Pel’s fishing-owl nest a bit of a distance from camp and we are almost certain that it is nesting there.
The birdlife at our Xigera Lagoon has increased noticeably as the water has come through and has cleared in colour; the fish-eating birds as well as insect-eaters are clearly excited.