September has been an amazing month. Not only is Rhino starting to warm up, but we have had incredible sightings in and around the lodge.
From Lions lounging in-front of our restaurant of a successful hunt the night before. To our resident leopard strolling past to the wonder of our guests. Chameleons catching some sun at our entrance and little bee eaters on the road into the lodge showing off their vibrant colors.
What better way to enjoy a drink on our deck after a day out on safari.
Michael and Rhino Lodge Team.
September has marked an unmistakable change of season at Fanjove. The Kuzi winds have begun to retreat and have been replaced by the Matilai winds from the East and as a result the sea conditions have become calmer and the sea temperature has risen comfortably. This has meant that there have been favourable conditions for activities and the dolphin and whale expeditions have continued to deliver amazing experiences. This September over 900 spinner dolphins have been sighted and logged over various Fanjove Excursions.
The seasonal change has also affected the birds: Dimorphic egrets that can normally be seen foraging in pools and exposed coral beds from Fanjove’s beach, are now nesting and can be seen and heard squabbling in their colony from a newly opened trail. The trail visits a hidden seepage pond where mature mangroves are growing and providing vital shelter zones for crabs and nesting seabirds as well as acting as nurseries for fish.
This particular area of the island has attracted the attention of Captial TV media crew. Capital TV are capturing conservation initiatives in Tanzania and are interested in the efforts that are already in motion on Fanjove.
Alongside visiting the mangroves, Capital also looked specifically at the island’s marine protected area, where a as number of productive soft corals are conserved as part of a no-fishing zone.
Amongst the corals there are some artificial extensions which create surface area for new corals to grow on. The media crew interviewed some of our senior staff who had noticed since the establishment of the protection area; they’d seen a definite increase in marine wildlife. This certainly lines up with the increased variety of species which have been noted on recent dives at the coral reef.
Of special note there have been a healthy number of grey reef shark, sometimes up to 20 during one dive, as well as a number of green turtles. Larger fish such as schools of barracuda and giant trevally have also added a nice variety to the dives.
It has been a very positive month for both Fanjove’s corals and reef which are particularly productive and teaming with life.
Laura, Johan, Hakim & The Fanjove Team.
Elephants are the fertilizers of Africa, distributing the seeds of many a flora around the savannahs and plains. Without these gentle giants and their distribution our landscapes could be so different. We pay homage for their relentless work in keeping their part of the eco systems flourishing.
Lion activity and sightings have been prolific with three prides spotted totaling twenty four lions in different areas during the full day safaris. It is great to see so many young lions learning the trade.
One of our guests was in the right place at the right time to capture the elusive Leopard as it sauntered passed some Elephants. An awesome picture and a fantastic sighting by Rhys Thatcher.
One Hyena on the prowl is fabulous to see but when you spot a whole clan lazing about you realize their unique beauty.
Did you know?
The Elephant trunk has forty thousand muscles divided into 150 000 units and can lift 350 kilograms. Its smell is four times more sensitive than a Bloodhound and can smell water many kilometers away.
By Shaun, Milinda and all Manze Team.
Another month has flown by as we have been kept entertained daily by the many bull elephants that have been hanging out around camp causing diversions as our Masaai expertly navigated guests around the elephants to get to and from their tents. With the seed pods dropping from the trees and water only a shallow dig in the sand river camp has been an elephant hotspot.
September has been a fabulous month for leopards with frequent sighting of our favourite leopard cub duo barely a stone’s throw from camp. After a few weeks of only having sightings of the young male cub we were delighted to eventually see his sister again and our guests were treated to some wonderful sightings of the two cubs playing together.
Another memorable sighting was of a poor young leopard who was trapped at the top of a big baobab tree as a pride of lions lay all around the base of the tree. A big male lion seemed to enjoy keeping the leopard hostage and he spent the entire day sleeping directly beneath the leopard. After a long nervous day for the leopard it finally managed to escape under the cover of darkness once the lions became bored of their game and moved off.
Other unusual lion behaviour this month has been of two separate prides killing and eating elephants. While it is an emotional scene to view one should marvel at the skills of the lions, an elephant is a difficult target to take down but once achieved it provides a true feast to satisfy the hunger of the entire pride for quite some time.
Special thank you to Michele Joninon for sharing his marvellous pictures with us.
By Rebecca, Andrea and all Mdonya Team.