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Safaris News -
Info and updates from Wilderness Safaris.
North Island Dive Report from
Monthly update from Kings Pool Camp in
Monthly update from Savuti Camp in
Monthly update from DumaTau Camp in
Monthly update from Zibalianja & Selinda Camps in
Kwando Safaris game reports.
Monthly update from Mombo Camp in
update from Jack's & San Camps in
Page 2 Updates
Monthly update from Tubu Tree Camp in
Monthly update from Kwetsani Camp in
Monthly update from Duba Plains Camp in
Monthly update from Vumbura Plains in
Monthly update from Ongava Tented Camp in
Monthly update from Pafuri Camp in
Turtle news from Rocktail
Bay in South Africa.
Monthly Dive report from Rocktail
Bay in South Africa.
Tree Camp update - December 06 Jump
to Tubu Tree
After a dry November, we finally
had some decent rain in December with a total of 90mm. The min/max
temperatures for the month averaged 19 and 34 degrees Celsius.
Good leopard sightings continued into December with the Motseletsele
Female and her two growing cubs providing regular sightings. The
female cub is very inquisitive and approaches the vehicle to sniff
the running boards as she inspects the occupants. The male cub
is much bigger and the size difference is quite noticeable at a
year old. He is slightly shyer but has grown in confidence particularly
during the last two months.
We witnessed an interesting chain of events one afternoon, involving
the male cub and a troop of baboons. When we first found him, he
was lying flat on the side of a termite mound watching some impala
grazing. He was very focused on the impala and did not pay any
attention to the local baboon troop feeding a couple of hundred
yards away. It was only a matter of time before the ever-alert
baboons spotted him.
When they did, a big male baboon immediately ran at the leopard
and chased him into some thick bush. The leopard hid for a few
moments before the baboon flushed him again. This time the baboon
was only a few metres behind the leopard and chased him for a long
distance barking all the way. The leopard disappeared into a very
thick palm scrub and the baboon went up a nearby tree to get a
better view. He was soon joined by two other big male baboons that
kept staring at the thick palm bushes and barking their agitation
at the hiding leopard. They eventually came down the tree and approached
the place where the leopard was hiding, circling it. There was
nowhere for the leopard to go, he was cornered. The baboons soon
realised that a cornered leopard, even if not full-grown, is not
to be toyed with. The leopard stood his ground and gave a series
of intimidating snarls and growls. This tactic seemed to work as
the baboons did not want to risk going into the thick scrub after
the leopard and they eventually lost interest, giving the leopard
the chance to make his escape.
The Mopane Ridge Female is lactating, which means there is possibly
another small litter of very small leopard cubs hidden away in
her territory. She is keeping a low profile at the moment but we
are very excited to get a glimpse of the new additions to the family.
She successfully raised two cubs last year that are now independent,
hunting on their own and are doing very well.
We have also had good lion sightings in December; one lioness
killed a wildebeest right in front of camp. She cleverly hid it
in the Tsaro palm island so that not even the vultures could find
it. She fed off it for four days leaving only skin and bone for
the hyaenas. That evening she met up with one of the resident males,
the poor chap did not know he had just missed out on some fine
The territorial male wildebeest who spends his days on the floodplain
in front of camp was joined this month by a herd of females with
young calves. The calves are very entertaining to watch and spend
their time either sleeping or chasing each other between the legs
of the females.
The warmth and moisture have brought many 'termite showers' which
have provided food for numerous birds and rodents. These conditions
are ideal for many reptile species, this month we have seen Rock
Python, Snouted Cobra, Spotted Bush Snake, Stripe-bellied Sand
Snake, Rock Monitor, Kalahari Sand Lizard and Dwarf Geckos in and
Bird species seen include Striped Cuckoo, White Stork, Western-banded
Snake Eagle, Black-breasted Snake-Eagle, huge flocks of Woolly-necked
Storks, Grey-hooded Kingfisher, Bearded Woodpecker, Black Flycatcher,
and African Rail. Big flocks of Marabou Storks have been active
in the marshes, feeding on trapped fish in the small remaining
pools of water.
Night drives have produced several sightings of porcupines, civets,
genets and honey badgers, many Owl species and one sighting of
the resident male leopard that is very rarely seen.
Looking forward to seeing you out here!
Anton, Carrie, Moa, Moyo and the Tubu Team
- December 06 Jump
to Kwetsani Camp
What a wonderful end to a fantastic year, here in the open wilderness,
nestled on a lonely island in the heart of the Okavango Delta. The island
is covered with thick stands of beautiful reds of the 'Fire ball lilies'
and many different greens of the newly budded leaves, in preparation
for the vigorous growth over the next few months before the rains come
to an end. The camp is filled with many different and melodious sounds
from the birds with their recent new nestlings like the Crested Barbet,
White-browed Robin Chat (Hueglin's Robin) and Paradise Flycatchers which
we have seen all over the place.
Some of the evenings have been filled with many little fairies (winged
termites), and there has been a real insect boom as the month has gone
on, due to the fact that the rains have really started falling. This
is not a daily occurrence but it has been overcast and very cloudy, considerably
cooler this December compared to previous years. This however did not
dampen the spirits of our 'Journey Seekers' as they just took it all
in their stride and were all part of the wonderful adventure.
"Look! There is a white branch in the Leadwood
tree. It looks like it could be the tail of a leopard..."
The leopardess seems to be staying out of the way of the lion pride
since the fateful day her cub was killed. This has made it really difficult
for us to find her. There have been a few, but wonderful opportunities
where she has either been seen on the move, hiding or just lying up in
one of her favourite trees. She is possibly almost ready to find a mate
again, to see if she can try to raise a new cub successfully.
Another female leopard has been seen with her cub, to the western side
of the concession, on a few occasions just walking in the road and then
playing around in the nearby bushes and trees. The cub is about 8-12
months old it would seem but is not camera-shy like its mother.
Scattered along the dry and sandy plains in front of camp the zebra,
wildebeest, red lechwe and tsessebe stay quite close to the water and
the reeds, which is fair distance away at the moment. The young of most
antelope species are really doing well, timing of births last month came
at the right time and there is plenty of cover to hide away from the
predators and also a lot of food around.
The resident lion pride's two females and two cubs are predominantly
seen with both the males at the moment. The competition is still very
high within the pride when they are feeding as many of the kills are
smaller antelope like red lechwe and on one occasion a fairly large baboon.
Many of the kills that the lioness made are stolen by the males and they
fight off all who come close. This leaves the cubs at the bottom of the
dining list but in spite of this the whole family is really healthy.
There was a bit of a concern as the smaller one of the two cubs has been
wounded during one of the feeding sessions. The cub has a large wound
but has done really well to survive and the wound is healing very nicely.
The larger cub is really dominating the smaller one at the feeding sessions
and often keeping her at bay when eating some of the smaller prey not
stolen by the males.
The pride is moving larger distances as the cubs are more mobile, even
crossing over large expanses of water to the north to keep the other
prides away from their area or maybe in search of some of the larger
prey species like buffalo or zebra.
Back in camp, we all really enjoyed the Christmas celebrations - both
the wonderful Christmas staff party (9 and 10 December) and Christmas
Day. The resident monkeys and baboons also enjoyed the Christmas period
but mostly the Christmas tree which they knocked over, playing in branches
and eating many decorations. Not a very good example for the youngsters!
We had a great African Christmas tree in the bush. We even had a Spotted
Bush Snake that was hunting the small frogs in and out of the lodge and
We look forward to sharing the new year's adventures, laughter and fun.
May your 'Life's Journey' bring you to this paradise, in the heart of
the Okavango Delta.
Plains Camp update - December 06 Jump
to Duba Plains
- 12 December
The last week of November and first week of December
has been a great time at Duba Plains. The area received rainfall for
the first time this rainy season. This has generally led to a sudden
change in the area's general game sightings, especially of elephants.
Elephants have been seen in big herds, ranging from 30 to 40, that
have moved into the concession from the south-western side, en route
through Duba towards the Mopane woodlands further north. These were
spectacular and memorable sightings and on several occasions the herds
were caught on camera as they crossed the deeper water channels in
single file. Generally at this time of year sightings of elephant herds
change from regular viewing of larger herds to less regular viewing
of smaller herds as the rainwater pans in the Mopane allow dispersal
away from the permanent channels - this year may be slightly different
however, since rainfall has been late in arriving and also not as abundant
During one evening recently there was an unexpected sighting in
the area as well. The sighting caused arguments, confusion, debate
and almost conflict between the guides due to the identification
of a strange male lion that was seen in the area. This male was
in very poor condition and badly injured and was initially mistakenly
identified by the guides as one of the Duba Boys who has not been
seen for some time and when last seen had a bad wound to the back
leg. As the sighting progressed, the guides were surprised and
shocked as to why the Tsaro Pride and the other Duba Boy did not
allow this male to approach them, and in fact actively avoided
him, keeping a distance between them and growling aggressively
at him. The fact that it was already dark at this stage made it
difficult for the guides to confirm the ID and age estimation,
but on returning to the area the next day the same male was still
following the pride, albeit at a distance. Given the benefit of
daylight and the presence of James, resident guide for the past
10 years and intimately familiar with the area's lions over time,
this male was identified as one of the five Tsaro Males that had
been evicted by their fathers (the Duba Boys) in September 2003.
This male was seen only for two consecutive days in the concession
and then disappeared and has not been seen since.
Three of the Tsaro lionesses, including the silver-eyed one, are
heavily pregnant and expected to have cubs any time this month.
The number of surviving cubs in the pride has decreased from five
to four, with one cub lost to unknown causes.
Surprisingly, the Skimmer Pride has not been seen much in the
territory of the Tsaro Pride and they seem to have curbed the invasions
which took place over the past three months. Instead while the
Skimmer Pride territory (Paradise Island) is still inaccessible
to vehicles because of high water levels, they have only been seen
in an area of overlap between the territories of the two prides,
along the regular route used by the buffalo herd.
As a result of successful buffalo defensive strategies during
daylight we are still continuing to see more interactions between
the lions and the buffalo than actual kills. This has caused the
lions to keep trying their luck through the night and they successfully
made two kills after dark during the past two weeks. Only one kill
was witnessed during the day.
Aardwolf and bat-eared foxes have continued to be among the highlights
since they are rarely encountered elsewhere. At Duba Plains sightings
are regular. In previous reports we mentioned that one pair of
aardwolves had a den with two pups. These pups have now matured
and have left the den although they are still being seen in the
Moalosi @ Duba Plains
update - December 06 Jump
to Vumbura Camps
The rainy season is in full swing with significant rain
falling throughout the Vumbura area in the form of aggressive thundershowers.
This has triggered an explosion of life in the Delta with frogs of
all shapes and sizes emerging. Following these amphibian snacks are
a multitude of storks and birds of prey. Another natural phenomenon
this month has been the winged termite emergences taking place after
each rain storm. We had wonderful viewing of our resident small spotted
genet snatching up these protein-rich bites in our main lounge area.
The vegetation has erupted, transforming the Vumbura area into a lush
Garden of Eden. Mushrooms have sprung out overnight in every possible
location, including the great Maboa mushroom. This giant fungus is much
sought-after by moths, animals and humans alike who enjoy its fleshy
On the birding side, our full complement of permanent residents and
migrants are pleasuring all with a birding interest and all groups of
birds are in great abundance at the moment. The rains have formed pans
and extended puddles making the area irresistible for water fowl such
as Knob-billed Ducks, Spur-winged Geese, Pygmy Geese and the rest of
the water-loving feathered community.
Lion sightings have been as good as it
gets this month, with quite a bit of action happening in the Vumbura
Pride lands. The four sub-adult males of the Kubu family have been
kicked out the pride by the two dominant males. These young boys will
become a small nomadic group roaming northern Botswana until they can
find a place in the complex world of lion society. A number of interesting
kills have taken place this month including a 5-metre crocodile. We
found the Kubu Pride feeding on this monstrous prehistoric reptile
one evening. The events preceding this are still unknown but the crocodile
must have been mortally wounded in a territorial dispute before the
lions found it, making it an easy target for them to take on. The Big
Red Pride was also very successful this month, taking down a fully
grown giraffe which they defended and fed on for a few days. The cubs
in both resident prides are still all well and healthy, providing us
with stunning sightings of these small fury cubs.
Cheetah sightings have been plentiful this month. Our resident male
has been spotted a number of times around camp, killing an impala in
front of our Boma one morning. This male has been roaming around camp
and to the east, which is unusual for him: Possibly the result of lion
pressure from the west.
Leopards have been scarce but one sighting sticks out above all animal
sightings this month. A young female leopard was spotted in front of
camp one evening. She was hunting impala but unfortunately did not bring
one down. We followed her for a while when all of a sudden she came face
to face with a cheetah. The two spotted cats watched each other for a
while not quite knowing how do handle the situation. Suddenly both cats
looked to the north only to see a hyaena trotting in to join the party.
There they stood; a leopard, a cheetah and a spotted hyaena not 10 metres
apart from one another. Without a sound they all turned away and each
headed in a separate direction: True Vumbura Magic!
Wild dogs have come through the area 3 times this month. These energetic
creatures are always on the move and it makes them difficult to follow.
But nonetheless we witnessed two wild dog kills this month which is fantastic.
The wild dogs never stay in the area for more than two or three days
and their presence is always welcome.
Ongava Tented Camp Newsletter - December 06 Jump
to Ongava Tented Camp
Hot, hot, hot... that's what describes our Christmas
Season - hot! The trees are in full leaf and the seeds
of the Purple Pod Terminalias are starting to redden,
casting a festive atmosphere throughout the reserve.
New grass pushes up from the earth after the first showers
of the season and quickly lures the animals out onto
the open plains.
Plains game abounds at the waterholes and on the
open plains, riveting everyone by their sheer numbers. White
rhino sightings have been extremely satisfying and our
famous "Long Horn", an enormous female white
rhino, has allowed us to get up close on foot to view
her and her newborn calf. Black rhino sightings have
been scarce but we have been rewarded with some fantastic
leopard sightings at camp and at the Margo waterhole.
Lions seem to be under every shady tree and at every
waterhole, waiting patiently for some unsuspecting antelope
to come by. Great lion hunts have been observed this
month, which in turn makes the conversation at dinner
most interesting, hearing everyone's version of the events.
Brown hyaenas have made their presence felt in camp,
wandering between the tents and observing everyone having
dinner whilst standing at the entrance to the lapa.
In Etosha, the game viewing is
not much different from the Ongava Reserve. The sheer
number of animals leaves one totally awestruck. Elephant
sightings have dwindled somewhat as they start their
annual migration to the north-eastern part of the Reserve.
Black rhino have been seen on occasion close to Gemsbokvlakte.
The "Culvert" lions
at Newbronnii still captivate all those who travel along
that road looking for the cats whilst the gemsbok, zebra
and springbok give the culverts a wide berth.
Birding always remains a delight. Martial Eagles, Tawny
Eagles, Pale Chanting Goshawks and Greater Kestrels are
easy to spot as they perch in the Mopane trees. A very
unusual sighting was a Montagu Harrier en route to Okaukuejo
from Gemsbokvlakte. Another rare sighting at Ongava was
a Cape Griffon Vulture at Allen Dam, which sent the birders
into a frenzy in their haste to haul out the binos and
tick their books. Swallow-tailed Bee-eaters and Lilac-breasted
Rollers beautify the surrounding trees and the truly
massive numbers of the Red-billed Queleas astound even
the most ardent twitcher. Huge flocks darken the skies
over the waterholes, weighing down branches and flattening
small bushes as they perch before setting off once again.
The campfire lit, smoke wafting through the trees as
the crickets start their evensong, wonderful aromas wafting
from the kitchen ends another perfect month in paradise........Ongava.
Camp Newsletter - December 06 Jump
Much like October and November, December has been extremely
hot and very dry, with many days going up into the forties.
At one point the Luvuvhu River got so low in places we
thought it was going to dry up into patchy pools here
and there, as it did last year. Rainfall in the catchment
area kept things flowing however and this combined with
the lack of rain locally saw the importance of the river
for game being as obvious as during generally drier months
such as October.
Towards the end of the month around the 29th the rains
finally broke and we had 5mm. Then between the 30th and
31st we had an amazing 60mm and what a relief it has
bought to the area. The temperatures have cooled down
quite nicely, so far. The vegetation is already starting
to change for the better, and the Luvuvhu River is now
flowing bank to bank and the Limpopo looks stunning.
Possibly linked to this dry period has been an interesting
phenomenon. Whether it is due to desperation or due to
everything being so dry no one can tell, but we have
had quite a few incidents where we have witnessed large
male baboons killing young impala, bushbuck, and even
a young nyala, in the most gruesome ways and then continuing
to feed on them. I know this is not that unusual as we
know baboons have been seen many times feeding off carcasses
and even making the odd kill themselves, but it is the
first time I have witnessed it happening so often.
At the beginning of December, we were also thrilled
to host the second Children in the Wilderness programme
here at Pafuri, with the children hailing from the nearby
Makuleke Village. The staff were over the moon to be
with the children and a lot of fun, games and education
was had by all! We are already planning for next year!
Here are some of the sightings our guests have been
treated to during December.
12/12 Racket-tailed Roller taking food to chicks on
a nest (first ever record for South Africa)
12/12 First baby warthogs of the season
12/12 Crocodile catches nyala in front of camp
12/12 Three Olive Whip Snakes in a tree outside of office
12/12 Limpopo just flowing at Crooks' Corner
19/12 Baboon kills baby nyala
21/12 Crowned Eagle in camp
22/12 Spotted Bush Snake 2 days in a row, eating a frog
on table in main area
23/12 Two rhino at palm spring
23/12 Olive Tree Warbler
29/12 Mating lions
29/12 40 eland at Makwadzi
30/12 Senegal Coucal seen
31/12 Eight Bronze-winged Coursers
31/12 Velvet mites emerge
There have still been some good sightings of breeding
herds of elephant, large herds of buffalo, as well
as many lion sightings, including the resident male
mating with one of the lionesses. Other sightings include:
blacked-backed jackal, African civet, white-tailed
mongoose, Burchell's zebra, yellow spotted rock dassie,
bushpig, blue wildebeest, klipspringer, Sharpe's grysbok,
eland, scrub hare, and rock elephant shrew.
There have been 234 species recorded this month with
some real gems including the first-ever nest site of
a Racket-tailed Roller in South Africa. Other sightings
for the month include: Southern Ground Hornbill, Purple
Roller, African Pygmy Kingfisher, Woodland Kingfisher,
European Bee-eater, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, Southern
Carmine Bee-eater, Red-chested Cuckoo, Three-banded
Plover, European Honey Buzzard, Steppe Eagle, Rock
Kestrel, Amur (Eastern Red-Footed) Falcon, African
Darter, African Spoonbill, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser
Swamp (Cape Reed) Warbler, Willow Warbler, Village
(Steel Blue) Indigobird.
Climate: Ave/min temp: 24°C. Ave/max temp: 39°C
(highest was 44°C). Rainfall 65mm.
Compliments of the season to you all,
Bay Turtle News - December 06 Jump
What a way to end off a fantastic year! With
all the great festivities, great people to share them with, and
of course great sightings of turtles, we have had an unbelievable
Our first little Loggerhead of the month was seen on the 3rd of
December. Douglas and Christine Hall joined in on the research
drive that beautiful starry night, and were not disappointed. At
the far end of the research area, at pole no. 100, a new Loggerhead
mother had crawled out of the sea and started digging her nest.
As Gugu approached her tracks, he turned the vehicle lights off,
and crept out of the car, and up to her to see how far she was.
When she started laying her eggs, he called everyone up to witness
the special event. Gugu then tagged her with the tag number ZA
RR528, and took her measurements which were 80cm long by 70cm wide.
Douglas and Christine were so awestruck by what they had just witnessed
that they just had to adopt her. Her new name is Zippy the Loggerhead.
Our first Leatherback of the month was seen the very next night,
and what an impressive sight she was. Gugu came across her tracks
just after Pole 96, which is very close to the end of the research
area. After discovering that she had no tag, Gugu tagged her and
then took down her impressive measurements. This Leatherback measured
in at 1.6 metres long by 1.2m wide - remarkable! Teagan Smith,
along with her family, had joined the drive that night and could
not believe what she was seeing. She just knew then and there that
she just had to adopt this magnificent creature. She christened
her Tiggy, which is actually Teagan's nickname; her tag number
is ZA RR540.
Teagan's brother, Kyle, was too late to adopt Tiggy, but his chance
came two nights later on the 6th of December. Just after nine o'clock
Gugu came across the tracks of a Leatherback on the northern side
of Lala Nek beach. The Smith family was on the drive again that
night, and could not believe their luck. This Leatherback Turtle
was also a new mother, and although smaller than Tiggy, no less
special. She was tagged with tag number ZA RR541, and she measured
in at 1.53m long by 1.14m wide. This Leatherback is now known as
Lizzy the Leatherback Turtle.
So, Brent and Michelle arrived at Rocktail with
two children, Teagan and Kyle, and left with two children and
Tiggy and Lizzy. Thanks so much for showing such great support
Our largest Leatherback mother during December is now known as
Sandy, and she is the proud newest member of the Dwyer family from
Johannesburg. The Dwyer family and the Simpson family went on a
midnight drive on the 12th of December, and were fortunate to come
across Sandy while she was nesting on Manzengwenya beach. Gugu
measured her in at an astonishing 1.7m long by 1.3m wide. INCREDIBLE!
The Williams family definitely had a Christmas to remember! After
indulging in a Christmas feast, they took part in the turtle drive
that night. Just after one o'clock in the morning (technically
Christmas morning), they came across a little Loggerhead turtle
on Manzengwenya beach. She was the only turtle that was seen on
the early hours of Christmas morning, and so they just had to adopt
This turtle was adopted for a very special reason, and we thought
that she should get a special mention. Phil, Gilly and Jonathan
named this little Loggerhead Ben, in memory of their son and brother
that passed away at the beginning of 2006.
Phil, Gilly and Jonathan, this special turtle will stick in our
minds forever, and we will keep a special eye out for her. Thank
you for adopting her and we hope she brings you lots of joy.
Overall, December has been a fabulous month to end off a fabulous
Turtle adoptions continue to come in, and we had a terrific 15
turtles adopted throughout the month.
The end of December marks the halfway point through out turtle
research season. We still have a further two and a half months
of research to conduct, and hopefully soon we will be seeing those
special little products of all this nesting - the hatchlings!
Here's wishing you all the best for 2007.
Andrew, Shannon, Simon, Steve, Glenda and
The Rocktail Bay Team
Bay Dive Newsletter - December 06 Jump
We could not have asked for a better way to end the year.
Loads of fun, loads of sun, loads of sightings and of course
loads and loads of great people to share it all with.
The weather this month has been hot and humidity levels have
risen to their highest yet. It has been absolute perfect weather
for the beach, snorkelling and diving. With all this heat going
on around us, we were certain that a storm would come to flush
away the heat, and replenish the steaming earth. On the night
of the 17th of December, an almighty thunderstorm hit Rocktail.
It was one of those storms that we do not see very often, but
when it happens it is inevitably loud and long. The wind blew,
the lightening flashed, and the rain came pouring down. When
things finally calmed down in the morning, we had had an incredible
45mm of rain during the three-hour chaos outside.
Now, no one thought that another storm like that would come
through again for quite some time, but we were totally wrong.
The very next evening, and around the same time in the early
hours of the morning, another thunderstorm hit the coast along
Rocktail. This one was even worse than the first, and we can
assure you that our guests were very grateful for their tree-house
chalets that night. The wind howled, the thunder roared, and
the rain came down in buckets. Once again, once it calmed down
and the sun shone brightly, we discovered that we had had a
further 50mm of rain. Unbelievable! This now leaves us with
the total rainfall at Rocktail for the year 2006 at 1420.05mm,
which is 202.05 over our mean annual amount of1200mm.
Besides those two out-of-this world thunderstorms, the weather
has been amazing, and the ocean even more so. And just when
you think things cannot get any better, Neptune just has to
prove us all wrong.
It was the 7th of December and a boat excursion was on the
cards for the Smith and Mostert families from Johannesburg.
Shortly, just after launching the boat, Darryl spotted a pod
of bottlenose dolphins, frolicking in the waves. The guests
on the boat did not hesitate and jumped in with them straight
away. Just after that, unbelievably, Darryl spotted an eight-metre
whale shark. As you can imagine, some were hesitant at first,
but eventually everyone got in, to swim with the largest fish
in the ocean today. We could literally hear the vehicle buzzing
on their way back into camp, and once they had arrived, they
inundated us with all their stories. What a wonderful way to
spend a summer morning.
Other sightings from the ocean this month have been honeycomb
stingrays, devil rays, green turtles, loggerhead turtles and
finally our special pregnant female ragged tooth sharks, which
are currently resting in the cave underneath Island Rock.
Around camp, as usual, a lot of hustle and bustle has been
going on. Last month we mentioned the baby boom within the
vervet monkey troop, and unbelievably they have not stopped.
We are seeing new vervet babies almost on a daily basis. They
are great fun to watch, and have been providing our guests
with hours of entertainment.
Other babies that have been spotted included
a nest of Tinker-Bird hatchlings, which Andrew heard calling
from a hole in one of the Marula trees around the camp. As
we got a closer look at what all the squawking was all about,
we saw two little wide-open beaks poke out of their hole
- they obviously thought that we were "Mum", hence
all the squawking.
Another special bird that we have seen this month is the Violet-backed
Starling. He, with his beautiful shimmering purple plumage
feathers, was seen at the Lodge bird hide.
Well, of course, December is also that special time of year,
where families and loved ones get together to celebrate the
holidays. We celebrated in true Rocktail style with a Christmas
Eve dinner which would make any mediaeval feast look like a
snack. There was turkey, gammon, Champagne, and of course,
there were lots and lots of laughs, late into the night.
Christmas morning called for a later than usual start, and
after discovering that Santa had actually found his way to
us, we saw in the day with a brunch fit for kings and queens.
After brunch our guests treated themselves to a dip in the
cool waters of the Indian Ocean, which was absolutely flat
and crystal clean.
All in all, as one guest said, another "terrible day in
Lastly, we saw in the New Year with a
themed "Shipwreck" party.
We had a Thai-style dinner, and the cocktails flowed feely
through the night. It was much earlier than midnight when the
champagne started flowing, and flowed right through until the
new hours of the 1st of January 2007. A totally fabulous celebration
made special, by the guests who joined us that night! To all
that were here that night, we want to thank you for helping
us see 2006 out and welcoming 2007 with a bang!
One of the highlights this month has certainly
been the wonderful guests we have had, and we thought we would
share some of their special comments with you:
John and Marina
- South Africa: "Thank
you to all of you for making our stay at your beautiful lodge
most memorable and unforgettable. Great diving, beautiful
and remote location, great turtle viewing and excellent service!"
Michele, Tiggy & Kyle - South Africa: "We
love it! We have had an awesome family holiday. The swim with
the dolphins the best. Thank you all for a fantastic time!"
Marius and Marieke - Netherlands: "Our
stay at Rocktail Bay Lodge started with heavy rain, but ended
in pure happiness. Thank you all for this beautiful experience."
Karen, Oliver & Jayden - South Africa: "Excellent
service, food and hospitality...we had a relaxing family holiday.
See you all soon, we hope?"
Gilly, Phil and Jonathan - United Kingdom: "Fabulous!
Thanks most of all to the staff for making us so welcome. A
We hope everyone had a peaceful and fun festive season, and
we are sure that, like us, you cannot wait to see what the
New Year brings!
Here's wishing everyone all the best for coming year of 2007!
Andrew, Shannon, Simon, Steve, Glenda and
The Rocktail Bay Lodge Team
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