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Back 24 / 06 / 2010

News from Davison's Camp in the Linkwasha Concession, Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe

leopardDavison’s Camp is a classic tented camp overlooking a watering hole and open plains in the southeast Linkwasha Concession within the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. The camp is named after the founder and first warden of the park – Ted Davison.The camp has 8 tents and a family tent as well as a lounge, dining room and open campfire area all set beneath a grove of mopane trees. Activities include guided morning walks, game drives and game viewing from the tent or main veranda.

The recent weather has been excellent with temperatures ranging from six to 32 degrees Celsius with a few odd rain showers. The mornings are misty then clearing to clear blue skies. The colours of the landscape are turning golden brown and the red syringe trees are shedding leaves. The purple pod leaf trees are dropping the last few pods (the seeds will remain dormant until the spring).

There have been some good sightings at the camp over recent months. The latest involved a late evening viewing of a four year old female leopard. This usually shy creature made its way down the road, seemingly oblivious to the people watching her. She got within a metre of vehicle, looking directly at the passengers seated in the front seats. Everyone held their breath throughout this intimate experience. After a few minutes the leopard wandered off along the road. The guide followed her in the vehicle for a short while but it soon became apparent that she was hunting and he decided to back off to avoid spoiling her chances of catching her prey. There have been some other good sightings of recent – as many as five in a single month which is quite unusual.

Some other unusual sightings include Africa wild cat, honey badger and a serval which was spotted in the tall, dry grass. The honey badger was spotted on an evening game drive and true to its fearless nature it hissed at the vehicle before sauntering off into the surrounding bush. The African wild cat was spotted at a pan one evening, looking sadly emaciated with a damaged leg.

Bird sightings have also been good and a memorable occasion was when a flock of about 20 squabbling marabou storks visited the camp pan, providing guests with much entertainment. These rather awkward looking birds with their bald, blotchy heads and spotty pink crops dangling loosely under their beaks hung around the pan looking quite miserable. Then, as the evening light faded, they flew one by one into the surrounding trees to roost.

Hornbills are quite common in the park and are often heard chatting outside the guests rooms in the early morning.


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