Rains Arrive In Selous

16 November 2009 | Jo Jenkins | Safari and Beach News

This month the Selous welcomed the beginning of the short rains, the land was thirsty and the landscape was very dry. It has been great to see almost everything come back to life, as the new shoots came out from those deciduous trees that had no leaves and golden grasses on the ground have been now replaced by the green.
Lots of Lilies appeared after the first rain, including Fireball lilies.
It’s amazing to see newly born Impala accompanying their mothers, tiny piglets trotting behind their Warthog mothers and all enjoying, learning and discovering what is around in their new world.
It’s a great time for the herbivores but also for carnivores that are now having an increased and healthy food supply in their menu.
For the birders, it has been a successful month of rare sightings of the uncommon Pel’s Fishing Owl and the very rare dark morph of the Little Egret along the Rufiji river. A pair of the most powerful eagles of Africa, the African Crowned Eagle, were seen grubbing and scooping up a two weeks old baby impala around Mzizimia lake recently.
But a sad story follows after all this pleasant news; mother nature showed us her darker side this month. It concerned our Nzelekela Leopard female. She was an amazing leopard, very confident with the cars, not shy at all, very unusual behaviour for a cat. In the last two seasons our guests had good chances to observe her at length and in the last two months she has been seen with two little cubs in the wild plain between Siwandu and Nzelekela lakes.   Unfortunately a few nights ago she was involved in a fight, probably caused by food competition between predators, or protecting her territory, or simply hunting a male impala and the following day she was seen lying down suffering under a tree seriously injured. She was struggling to survive, but she did not make it. She died in the night leaving behind two five month old cubs.  We have been driving out searching for the poor cubs, as it is unlikely that they can manage on their own, but in vain and no one has seen them since.  It’s very sad, we will miss her a lot, but this is the wild side of Africa, this is the circle of life.

Written by Jo Jenkins

Jo’s enthusiasm for safari as a child when her parents worked in Zambia, then Kenya. Jo quickly fancied herself as a safari expert and has been a keen game tracker ever since. Although, more recently, she is very keen to trial many of the (more luxurious) beach lodges we now offer.

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