For the visitors of Fanjove Private Island this month it has been an Octopus-filled October.
October has been a great month for snorkeling, and one attraction that has caused quite a stir is the arrival of several octopus that have moved into the coral nurseries directly in front of the lodge. Octopus feed on small fish that shelter inside corals, and therefore will often move into rock hollows where there are nearby corals for them to use as feeding grounds.
As we came to know the areas where the octopus were inhabiting, we were able to get some beautiful footage as they move over corals, changing from their normal red colour to their hunting colours (sandy beige for stealth). It is truly mesmerizing to watch, as they hunt and change colour they sometimes alter their pattern to give an appearance of body armor when they feel threatened.
The soft corals within our no-fishing zone are a popular safe haven for marine wildlife and the absence of dynamite fishing in the proximal waters of Fanjove Island has meant that the surrounding reef is also full of life.
We continue to work with the SongoSongo Beach Management Unit (BMU), to whom we appointed a boat especially for patrols. We keep the boat supplied with fuel, enabling them to patrol and apprehend illegal fishing vessels and reduce the impact of illegal fishing in the surrounding archipelago.
Both the cooperation of the community of SongoSongo and the BMU assists in the reduction of marine damage nearby Fanjove and the rewards of this are incredible. Both snorkeling and diving in October have been rich in marine wildlife and full of a good mix of reef and pelagic fish.
Laura, Johan, Hakim & The Fanjove Team.
It’s baby time!
The dry season is over, at least for now… and babies impala are popping out all around.
The first rains have arrived, for all the animals’ joy and within three days everything turned green.
Unfortunately not all have made it over the though months of the dry season and we had two buffalo from the camp that died of stents.
Of course nothing gets lost in the bush and both crocodiles and hyaena had full bellies.
The lake is still very low giving guests a fantastic experience with the boat safari with plentiful crocodiles, hippos and thousands of birds.
By Shaun, Milinda and all Manze Team.
In camp this month we have had a flourish of new life as our resident troop of monkeys have all given birth.
The baby monkeys in the first couple of weeks were just clinging on tight to their mothers not very aware of the world around them but just in this last week they have started to gain an interest and taking their first attempts at exploring though always in a close proximity to the safety of their mothers.
One of our resident bushbuck has also had a baby and one evening it came running in to camp being chased by some hungry jackal, luckily for the bushbuck it chose to run to the area next to the public toilet, we heard the noise from the jackals and as we approached the jackals ran off and the baby bushbuck just stood gazing up at us seemingly aware that it had found safety in the camp.
Sightings out on drives have been excellent with the concentration of wildlife around the waterholes. Some of our lucky guests saw lions, 2 leopards and 5 cheetah all in one day, while others had near record sightings of 7 leopards in 3 days.
The Great Ruaha River is very low and the lack of water has caused a bacterial outbreak killing many hippos. So we end this month in hope that the rains will arrive soon cooling the harsh afternoon temperatures, giving relief to the wildlife and lifesaving increase in the water levels in the Great Ruaha River.
Thank you to Anna De’Capitani and Hans Wunderlich for their contributions to this month’s gallery and to Hans Wunderlich for the leopards’ videos.
By Rebecca, Andrea and all Mdonya Team.