February 2010

Honeyguide newsletter – Early Summer 2010
Once again abundant rain clouds are rolling in across the lowveld bringing long awaited relief. We are enjoying full summer in the Manyeleti, with life and abundant off spring blossoming all around us. The cold weather of winter has given way to warm, humid days.
In summer, the Manyeleti is a birders paradise with over 500 species.  Ranging from pearl spotted owls to martial eagles, not to forget the woodlands kingfishers, with their distinctive call, enjoying the last few months of the season.
The Honeyguide family is growing day by day, with Edmond, Hillary and Mike visiting us for the third time. This was their first summer trip, experiencing from lions roaring on Christmas Eve to hundreds of tiny dung beetles scurrying around. This was a truly memorable family holiday in the African bush. 
With the diversity of animals around, and the pea green bush, it is hard not to be in awe of the splendour of the Manyeleti Reserve in full season. The bush is lush and green and water holes are full and plentiful and a hive of activity.
The baby boom has started and with our resident leopard looking very pregnant, there are bound to be some amazing sightings. Fascinating also to observe the most endangered animal in Africa relaxing in the middle of the road. We are talking about a coalition of four male cheetahs being seen in our small part of paradise. On a recent safari with our guests, we were all also very fortunate to witness extremely rare sightings of pangolin and caracal.
The Horn family was with us for 7 wonderful days. On their safari we hit it big, the Big 5 that is. We had an amazing sighting of a female leopard ambling in front of us for about 20 minutes. Brushing up next to our vehicle calling with deep throaty grunts. How could this drive get any better? With 4 of the big 5 marked off the list, we only needed to find lion. We could hear a lion roaring in the distance. Sundowners were over and a while later, we found him, a massive male, named Mandevu, drinking at a water hole. Then Mandevu pierced the silence of the night with a loud roar only some five metres from the vehicle.
What an amazing way to start the new year, having sundowners at a dam sharing it with hippos and a herd of elephants splashing at the water’s edge.
Till next time.
Your friends at Honeyguide