Southern Africa’s largest zebra and wildebeest migration has recently departed Meno A Kwena on the Boteti River for their breeding grounds in the Makgadikgadi Saltpans.
The approximately 30 000 strong herd was desperate to move after a long dry season that started in May, the females heavily pregnant and reluctant to give birth to their foals before making the long trek. The migration with their nurseries will move around the saltpans following the localised rain storms in the open grasslands where it is safer from the predators.
The summer rain attracts increasing numbers of bull elephants from the northern Chobe and Okavango areas into the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park where they forage on the nutritious grasses surrounding the saltpans. This means we get to see large concentrations of bull elephants swimming in the river in front of camp, over fifty counted at one time right in front of our new floating viewing hide at camp!
I don’t want to publicise to the wrong people but the small family of white rhino has just become a big family! The first rhino calf was born a few weeks ago in the national park and is doing very well. Armed anti-poaching guards commissioned by the president are helping keep it that way.
Our Bushman walking experience has been a great success so far this year. We plan to formally promote this activity for our guests in 2012. The small family groups are from Xai Xai on the Botswana/Namibia border and spend up to three months at Meno A Kwena where we accommodate and provide them with sustainable income opportunities. This includes taking guests on bush walks, playing games, tracking and arts and crafts production. I must emphasise the impact these people have on our safari experiences, their involvement and input is a fascinating and entertaining compliment to viewing and understanding wildlife and their habitats.