In the few short months since we last wrote it is amazing how much has changed in the bush. The bright emerald green of new rain grass has been replaced with yellow green as the Summer season starts to come to an end. After being witness to spectacular thunder storms that slashed the sky and shook the ground we are now teased by the odd promising build up of cloud that sadly doesn’t amount to anything. The rainy season has now all but finished.
The hesitant behaviour of the animals with our fence coming down has been replaced by familiarity and bravery- particularly with the elephants. After the first tentative checking out of the swimming pool all the bulls now come for a drink and even the breeding herds know where to come for clean water! They have even beaten a very evident path from the waterhole to our swimming pool at the house.
My first experience with a groups of eles at the pool was when I was swimming once lunch time. Slowly but surely three young bulls sidled up to the pool and dipped their trunks into the water simultaneously. They were so close I could touch them! It was a really humbling experience. Gordon took a photo of the Lunch Time Drinkers who are now very regular visitors.
A huge adrenalin rush was when late one afternoon I was in the pool (seems like I am always in the swimming pool!)and a massive bull came to drink. There was no fear or hesitation and I sunk down as low as I could in the water whilst taking a photograph of him. One could feel his breath. It was absolutely mind boggling.
Needless to add I did not move a muscle!
All the animals now regard our house as part of the landscape and they graze right up against the side of the deck. Yesterday we had Mother warthog and her piglings(officially piglets)feeding their way through the grass. Their snuffling was punctuated by high pitched squeaking as they comically moved across the ground on their knees.
The wildebeest and impalas with their rapidly growing youngsters take no notice if we are on the deck and move freely around at their own pace.
On two occasions the wild dogs have eyed the low part of the fence that joins the side of our house and the lodge fence. If they put their minds to it they could probably take a running leap and clear it. But lets hope they don’t put it to the test!
As Stefan mentioned the dogs are spending more time with us in the west which is such a treat and we have been very lucky to have had them at the lodge often. Even though one knows how quick these dogs are it is an eye opener to watch them race past twittering and calling.
This last weekend we had a very busy waterhole when ,within a short period we had elephants, followed by wild dog drinking who were then chased off by two lionesses. The guests had just returned from drive and instead of sitting down to breakfast were riveted watching the dynamics.
There have been sightings of all the big 5 on the webcam in the last month and we are delighted that the nocturnal visits of the white rhino have resumed.
Our “Local” black rhino Hansa visits us regularly. And we were treated to a very tense standoff when he and another Male come across each other late one afternoon. When both parties suffer from poor eyesight and the wind is blowing in the wrong direction it makes for much posturing and Macho behaviour. Eventually they both left, heading in opposite directions in clouds of dust and with bruised egos!
The Eyptian geese have had five youngsters and are very vocal at the waterhole. The adults have taken to strolling on the lodge lawn in the afternoons and walking around the water feature. I’m keeping a beady eye to see if the Koi suffer any casualties!
When we had a very large herd of buffalo that swamped the waterhole the family of geese were swimming in ever decreasing circles in the middle trying to avoid being squashed. They are incredibly good alarm sounders and whenever they
get excited it is always worthwhile seeing what is coming down to the water.
Hope to see you soon with us in the Bush!
Gordon, Sue and everyone at Bush House