As the rains approach us, life on Fanjove is quietening down after a busy February. Within the first few days of the 2017 season starting we also were lucky to see a turtle laying her eggs on Fanjove, and now for the end of season it has happened again! The peace and quiet has encouraged a green turtle to lay her eggs right in front of Banda 5 on the 9th of March. This is the first nest of 2018 for Fanjove Island. She was spotted by one of our askaris at around 8pm while our guests were just about to sit down to dinner and they were lucky enough to observe her laying the eggs before she made her way back into the sea – a rare event! The nest has been carefully marked, and it is expected that the nest will hatch in May.
Along with the first rains we have seen the return of the European rollers which in combination with the green vegetation as a backdrop is making for some beautiful photos on Fanjove.
With big cumulonimbus clouds sitting daily over the mainland at Kilwa Kivinje the sunsets have been framed by impressive colourful rainclouds.
Sitting back and listening to the waves with the sun going down has put us in a reflective mood: We are now coming to the end of the season that has been rich in conservation victories on Fanjove. Due to the continuing collaboration between Fanjove and the Songosongo Beach Management Unit (BMU) we have completed the season in the absence of dynamite fishing which has had a positive impact on the marine protected zones around the island. We have also seen diversity improvements on the coral reef with numerous grey reef shark and larger pelagic schools of fish being seen during dives.
The humpback whale season was long and eventful as we also had a fantastic time watching the giants breaching and tail-slapping behind our reef and for the few lucky guests and Fanjove team who managed to swim with a humpback whale this season – I don’t think we’ll ever forget this!
We are excited to add a third dolphin species to our list as the Risso’s Dolphin have been spotted three times since their initial sighting in December.
Working together with the Songosongo fishing community we have also demonstrated the benefits of rotational reef closures after successfully closing Fanjove’s reef in its entirety from mid-November to mid-February. This will form the foundation of community projects that we hope to progress with next season.
We had a fantastic time meeting all our guests over this season and we are looking forward to welcoming our next guests in June!
Best Regards from
Laura, Johan and The Fanjove Team.
And so a fantastic season draws to a close. We have witnessed many awesome scenes as if they came off a movie set. Some indescribable and some etched into your mind for eternity. Our guests have left this wonderland with memories that will last a lifetime.
Your apex predators have been busy with many a kill and of course the garbage collectors have been in close attendance to clean up the scraps. All in all an amazing busy year in the animal kingdom.
We were fortunate enough to host one of the local village schools kids and teachers on a day trip into the bush. Their excitement could not be curtailed as they saw the varied amount of animals on a genuine safari. This outing was arranged in conjunction with one of the other camps in the Selous. A social responsibility that will be forever etched into the minds of these young people that the animals here are everybody’s heritage and that it must be respected
The rains have come back with occasional storms which puts a different light on the safari expedition. We can now say that we have the cleanest animals and birds around
We want to wish all our guests, past and future an awesome couple of months until we meet either in camp or on this newsletter.
By Shaun, Milinda and all Manze Team.
when the camp plumber goes on safari – what does he see
when the camp plumber goes on safari – what does he see2
when the camp plumber goes on safari – what does he see3
when the camp plumber goes on safari – what does he see4
After the dry month of February, March rolled in with the return of the rains. Grass that had begun to wilt is once again flourishing and the park is beautifully decorated with hints of purple from a variety of wildflowers growing amongst the green grass.
Highlights of sightings this month have been of the Mdonya Juu pride of lions feeding on a giraffe close to the road, a couple of sightings of the family of five cheetah, a brief sighting of two honey badgers running along next to the road and a special sighting of a pack of wild dogs. Both experienced birders and new safari comers have marvelled at the array and display of birds in the park at this time of the year.
Around camp we have seen the return of lions to the area, still not the Mdonya pride but the two nomadic males and one female that we had been seeing in the area at the end of last year. On two occasions the lions were seen in camp and their roars have been echoing through the Mdonya woodlands at night. A big troop of baboons have entertained our guests in camp with their games and playful behaviour.
As we reach the end of this season we would like to say a big thank you to all of our guests who have joined us at Mdonya over the past 10 months, for sharing with us your stories and experiences and for helping us protect this beautiful wilderness area by choosing to stay with Essential Destinations and supporting sustainable tourism and conservation.
Rebecca, Andrea and all Mdonya Team.