Well, what can I say about June? An elephant tried to steal a pumpkin, our facebook-page was re-launced and we heard wedding-bells coming out of the Mopane-forest outside our little camp. And then, off course, we had a splendid ‘moment of the month.’
I am sure you have heard all the clichés about the internet, and social media in particular: “Social Media is changing the way we do business” & “Social Media is the future, and the future is now” & “No business can survive without social media” – The list goes on and on and on. But, the weird thing about clichés is that, they are all true!
Even here in the middle of nowhere we believe that social media has taken the world by storm and that it puts the icing on the cake when it comes to keeping in touch with your market and that is why Wildlife Camp re-launched our Facebook-page at www.facebook.com/WildlifeCamp
Don’t be left in the dark: Like our facebook-page today!
A Wake of Vultures
Mary Earnshaw has been a guest here at Wildlife Camp on numerous occasions over the last couple of years. Her new book, A Wake of Vultures, was recently published and I had the pleasure of reading it during June.
Set in a vast river valley in deepest Africa, this tale of rivalry, greed and death blends the classic, Agatha Christie-style brain teaser with the fun of an Indiana Jones movie. The whole story is set against the backdrop of Elephant Camp, and it does not take a lot of reading between the lines to figure out that Elephant Camp is in fact, Wildlife Camp! What an experience it was, sitting in our restaurant and reading this gripping story that actually takes place in that very same restaurant – It is the perfect way to spend your between-safaris-hours here at Wildlife Camp.
For more information on Mary’s book, please visit www.cosiandveyn.co.uk
Let me tell you about my little Mangosteen-tree, Garcinia livingstonei. I bought this little tree from a nursery close by the airport about a year-and-a-half ago. Since then I have nursed it into a beautiful specimen. With my own two hands I dug a big hole for it to make sure that the roots won’t have any difficulty spreading their wings. I planted it in a mixture of freshly-collected elephant-dung and soil from underneath a Winterthorn tree. I watered it twice a week, just as the tree doctor had recommended.
Now, look carefully at the picture to your right. You will see two elephants, a cow and her calf, standing in front of my grass-fence. And yes, there in the big elephant’s munching mouth is my little mangosteen tree, roots and all!
That night, not only did they eat my lovely Mangosteen tree. They also broke into the kitchen trying to steal a pumpkin. Day-light robbery!
But that is what we love most about Wildlife Camp – its wild!
With 4oo hectares of pristine riverside property at our disposal, Wildlife Camp has some amazing bush-spots to cater for every occasion. One of our river-view spots doubled as a wedding venue when Simon & Claire Waterhouse got married here on a lovely Saturday afternoon. Since she was a little girl (sorry for another cliché) Claire has dreamt about an intimate, rustic bush-wedding and that is what she got. With 70 people, and a choir in attendance it turned out to be an unforgettable moment when the yes words were said on June 23rd 2012. We wish them all the best!
Moment of the Month!
On a Monday afternoon I was not expecting much when I got in a Land Rover and headed for the lagoon in front of camp for a spot of good-old-fashioned birding. After all, Lady-Luck and Mother Nature aren’t always the most generous of people and in the last couple of weeks they have surprised me with some amazing animal sightings. After seeing a Western-Banded Snake Eagle perched on a dry Mopane, and some green-pigeons I thought that I was indeed a lucky man. So, I headed back to camp.
But right at that moment, Lady-Luck, instead of her usual smile, burst out in uncontrolled laughter: in front of me in the tall dull-brown grass popped up some big ears. First one set, and then another… Seven sets of wild-dog ears all together. How lucky can one man be? Here I was, just me, my camera, my bino’s and seven of Africa’s rarest creatures! The dogs moved out of the tall grass, one of the yearlings still carrying a big chunk of meat in her mouth. I decided to stop quite far away – by this time I had already radioed camp and they were on their way with guests so I did not want to scare the dogs away by invading their space. But soon they invaded my space! They came running up to the Land Rover and made themselves comfortable in the shade of a nearby sausage tree. I realized that none of these dogs were collared and that they had to be a newly formed pack so I took as many side-on photos as possible, knowing that that is how our carnivore researchers identify Africa’s painted dogs.
They stayed with me for a while and then, dogs being dogs, got up and jogged off into the distance. I tried to keep up but the bush was too thick so I gave up the chase. Our guests, being very unlucky people, were not in time to see them.
Luckily, over the next 48h they stayed in our area. Can you imagine being a guest, coming off your night-safari at 20:30 in the evening, the spot-light and your camera already packed away, and then finding wild-dogs walking on the road towards camp..? So, Lady Luck eventually smiled on them too!
I posted my album “Wildlife Camp Wild-Dogs” on our facebook page: www.facebook.com/WildlifeCamp
That is all for the Wildlife Camp newsletter for June 2012. July is the start of the peak-season and we are really looking forward to it!
Kind Regards from the beautiful Luangwa Valley in Zambia.