November on Fanjove has been a beautiful month for birds. We have welcomed back our wonderful migratory population of Crab Plovers, who can be seen collecting in their hundreds on the North-Eastern beach. Taking a short walk on the island trail will give you a good chance of spotting newly arrived flycatchers and storks. If you are lucky you might spot a Diederik’s Cuckoo, and in the very least you will certainly hear their unusual call.
This month there have also been conservation developments; following many discussions between Fanjove, the local authorities and the Songosongo Beach Management Unit (BMU), some exciting developments are taking place.
On November 9th the Fanjove team welcomed the BMU, who were visiting the island to assess the scale of our surrounding coral reef. Together it has been decided to extend our already established no-fishing zone to the entire Fanjove Reef. This will be initially tried as a rotational closure, meaning that the reef will be closed to fishing for 3 months, and then opened for 1 month, and so on.
As of the 15th November the Fanjove reef areas, named Minandi, Hazina & Pwella, will no longer be legal fishing sites for a trial period of three months.
On the 17th November the BMU anchored some buoys to mark the new no-fishing zone.
This initiative will extend Fanjove’s existing no-fishing zone which is very successful marked by the influx of reef shark (seen regularly on dives) and great shoals of pelagic fish such as giant trevally and barracuda.
The objective of this project will be to allow species replenishment on the reef during the fishing prohibition periods and to stop net damage to the reef, thereby allowing coral recovery. This will not happen overnight of course, but we take this as a very positive step in the right direction of educating fishing communities and protecting our piece of natural paradise.
Laura, Johan, Hakim & The Fanjove Team.
The short rains have arrived and the Selous has turned into a summer green wonderland.
Animals are fat, shiny and plentiful as they gorge them selves on the never ending supply of food.
It was fantastic to spot the forty odd Elephants in front of the camp as they returned from an unknown destination. There are many new young elephants milling around with them.
Three new male Lions were spotted about four hundred meters from the camp and at a guess would think about two to three years of age. Are we going to have a showdown with the resident male who treks in between the Manze and Nzerekera pride. We wait in anticipation for this confrontation in the future.
The wild dog packs are back and it was fantastic to see the nine of them playing together before starting their hunt for Impala. Guests also had the opportunity to see the pack of twenty four which included nine new pups.
And finally the Bushbaby dropped into the dining area as it went searching after insects that were drawn to the candles and lantern lights. Cutest little thing.
By Shaun, Milinda and all Manze Team.
Throughout this month clouds have been building up and despite a couple of light showers the bush is still very dry and we are still waiting for the rains to start and the grass to grow. Due to the prolonged dry season wildlife have continued to concentrate around the diminishing water sources providing excellent sightings.
Large herds of buffalo have been closely followed by prides of lions, leopards have been seen stalking and eating impala and our guests have had good sightings of cheetah. On one special day there was a record setting 7 cheetah seen on one day! Two of which were seen just 5 minutes from camp.
On another day one of early riser guests was rewarded with a brief sighting of a pack of wild dogs.
Around the Mdonya woodlands we have seen an increase in elephants again and a coalition of 3 lions have moved in to the area. We suppose that our regular Mdonya pride have followed the buffalo herd to the South and in their absence two nomadic male lions and one lioness have moved in to the woodlands. They have frequently walked through camp roaring loudly and they managed to take down a big giraffe just out of camp giving us the opportunity to observe these new comers. The two males both look like they have been in many fights as they are covered in scars and one has his nostril slit making him easy to identify.
It will be interesting to see what happens when the Mdonya pride return, will these two males be able to take over the pride or will they be exiled from the territory.
By Rebecca, Andrea and all Mdonya Team.