August Ranger’s Report

Umzolozolo Private Safari Lodge is upgrading and renovating various areas around the lodge. We have one major project on the go at the moment which promises new and exciting experiences for guests. What is this project, you ask? Well, we are building our very own dam just below the lodge! The renovations have been ongoing: we started with new paved pathways to the various suites and chalets, and continues with re-thatching of some of the roofs. With so much thatch around, experiencing winds of 37 to 41 km/hr has certainly made life tricky. The month of Au-“gust” has indeed been a rollercoaster ride.

It has been rather quiet in the southern region of the reserve, but one species that has kept us entertained is the hippo. We have four hippo calves of various ages that spend time in both Woodlands and Hippo Dam under the watchful eye of their mothers. With milder winter temperatures and colder water temperatures, these amphibious mammals have been spending more time on the banks of the dams rather than inside the water. The young hippo featured in the image below had just finished suckling and was blowing milk bubbles for the camera!

On a recent sunrise safari, I was heading back to the lodge with guests and one of them spotted a young male lion in the grasses to our right. Moments later, we noticed a lioness stalking warthogs. As if this wasn’t exciting enough, in the distance behind all of the action, we realised that if we used binoculars, we could catch a glimpse of the cheetah female that was recently introduced to Nambiti. She is getting acclimated to our piece of Africa in her own private boma. It is a delicate and important process to ensure that she settles properly before we can release her onto the reserve.

When you take a step back and glance across the hills and plains of Nambiti, it is very evident that we are still in the grips of winter! On closer inspection, you will notice that the acacia trees are sprouting new shoots, burnt areas have carpets of green patches, and sunlight hours are getting longer. Spring is just around the corner, and we cannot wait!

Head Guide Noleen Turner