August in the Zambezi Valley is well renowned for being the windy month, this August was no exception. Two out of the six trips had winds too high for safe canoeing on the last day. So this meant these days were spent walking and driving in Mana Pools National Park and Nyamatusi Wilderness Area giving a different dimension to the trail journey. High winds can be a challenge for canoeists as it causes the water to become extremely choppy. We look forward to the tamer September/October conditions and some more incredible days on the water!
The winds at times have added a slight breeze to the hot afternoons and the temperature is starting to rise as we make our way towards spring and summer. With the August winds all but a few of the Winter Thorn Acacia (Acacia Albida) pods have fallen providing a vital food source for many different species that have made there way onto the floodplain to feed on this colourful and nutritious pod. Frequent sightings of most plains game including Impala, Waterbuck, Zebra and Warthog as well as the bigger game such as Hippo, Crocodile, Buffalo and Elephant. Birding has also been of good quality as it always is along the Zambezi with a rare sighting of a Pied Avocet and it is also good to see the Carmine Bee Eaters coming back to the area as well as the African Skimmer as these birds are normally summer migrants and so it is interesting to see them back so early in the year. August was filled with some incredible sightings. A bull elephant standing on his hind legs reaching for branches that would be otherwise out of reach was seen on numerous occasions while walking in Mana Pools National Park. Many guests had the adrenalin pumping privilege of seeing numerous prides of Lions while on foot both close up and from a distance including a massive male Lion on a Buffalo kill who showed his displeasure at our presence by growling constantly and loudly, sending shivers down everyone’s spine. Yet another great sighting was a very relaxed pack of Wild Dog with 3 pups which we managed to approach on foot.
In conclusion, it has been another good month at Mana Canoe Trails with good sightings and beautiful evenings around the campfire. With another busy month coming up we can’t wait to see what the mighty Zambezi has in store for us.