October has been a great month in Pafuri! The final month of trails season, although hot, were a huge success. With our trails camps situated along the Luvuvhu, and many of the larger pans still containing water, whether out on walks or just relaxing in camp, there was game all around
The elephant herds were often concentrated along the Luvuvhu and the Limpopo floodplains. It’s always great having them around in such large numbers before the rainy season starts. The elephants typically move south and north to their summer feeding grounds in the rainy season although there are always a few who remain in Pafuri. We had some incredible sunsets overlooking the Limpopo River, with elephants walking into the distance and across the border.
We also saw buffalo herds in large numbers along the rivers, especially in the Ana Tree forest. Both buffaloes and elephants are attracted to this forest by the highly nutritious seeds that come from the trees. The animals are looking well fed and in great condition, a big change from this time last year when we were right in the middle of a big drought.
October was definitely a month for lions! It is so exciting having a new pride making the Makuleke concession part of their territory. The lioness and her four cubs are often seen crossing the Luvuvhu bridge onto the Pafuri side of the river. The lioness was even seen on the banks of the Luvuvhu River right in front of camp whilst guests were enjoying high tea.
With the lions being more active in the area, leopard have been a bit scarce and while you still see tracks and sign of them around, there haven’t been as many sightings.
We had our first storm and rains of the season towards the end of October, and overnight Pafuri turned green and lush. The Mopani and Baobab trees all started shooting new leaves. The Baobabs are even starting to flower. My highlight was seeing the flowers of the northern fluffy flowered jackal coffee (Tricalysia junodii)- yes, it’s an actual plant; guests often think I’m joking.
The flowers and arrival of the summer migrants are making us all excited for summer, and bird watching in particular! The violet back starlings, broad billed rollers and some of the cuckoos have returned. We even saw a thick billed cuckoo on a walk the other morning. The impala females are also looking pretty pregnant and we have seen our first baby of the season. They typically all give birth within a very short time of one another, usually towards the end of November, so to see one all alone so early was unusual. Can’t wait for the new mob to arrive!
All the best from Pafuri Camp.
Sarah Nurse Head Guide
FEATURE IMAGE: Sinamatela