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Mdonya – Feb 2014 Newsletter

March 20, 2014

Mdonya – Feb 2014 Newsletter

Filed under: Tanzania Odyssey News — Tanzania Odyssey @ 12:39 pm

Environment

February saw the continuance of the rains unabated with the even additional hailstorm – mid afternoon with hailstones the size of small marbles!

The foliage within the camp is now interspersed with a variety of colours provided by the small but vibrantly red witchweed (Striga asiatica) contrasted by more purple colour of the centemopsis family.

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In the areas of the camp where the ground is prone to dampness, you see will see Round white sedge (Kyllinga alba) in large clumps. The different varieties of Centmopsis clash with the bright pinks of the Pink Ink Flower (Cycnium cameronianum).

One can almost hear the grass growing on a daily basis within the camp perimeter as the Masai struggle to keep up with maintaining the grass cutting.

Sightings

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The biggest excitement for us this month was to learn that the injured female cheetah who had been in close vicinity to the camp, had been seen at Mwagusi and she had 3 young cubs with her – mother and cubs looking fit and healthy so she is obviously able to hunt quite happily and her wound is slowly getting smaller. A beautiful and elusive serval was sighted this month too!

We are no longer able to use some of our river crossings as the water has become just too deep and the flow too strong. We continue to hear the thundering of Mdonya Falls after a particularly heavy rainfall. On one recent expedition with staff members we had to approach the Falls by walking upstream against a very strong current. When we arrived there, the force of the water over the large rocks made it impossible to actually get to the base of the Falls but just a week later, it was a much easier approach and rewarded by a quick swim in the Falls. Check on Facebook for this adventure’s pictures.

Leopards

The month of February brought with it an increase of the smaller creatures e.g. mongoose, genet and even a wild cat.

This month we have had very few of our regular pachyderm visitors – there is too much good food further afield for them at the moment but we expect they will return at the start of the next Season. Slowly at first but then, as the grass becomes drier and drier, their numbers will increase again.

Fundi took up residence in a tree close to the staff quarters with the remains of an impala and very obligingly climbed up and down the tree for our guests to photograph him. We suspect it was also Fundi who successfully hunted another Impala between tents 3 & 4 but once again the hyenas moved in so we were not sure who eventually had the spoils.

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