Christiaan bakkes biography channel
If you are very unlucky they may be sleeping right outside your room - and snoring. He is the son of the writer Margaret Bakkes and historian Cas Bakkes. Hoanib River Camp is now open, the main area at Damaraland Camp has been rethatched and a pool installed see photo below.
Just a matter of time. Greed is not profitable, sustainable, acceptable or intelligent. Notice I did say most, not all. We know the ones who are doing it right. It is a joke for anyone who never conserved wildlife or even never arrived at habitat to guide conservation. Sean, you lead the way please. Let us all know how you have contributed positively to conservation.
You, by trying to stop the trophy hunting by US hunters, would take away the biography channel to the problem…. No amount of mumbo jumbo can make excuses for killing even one of an endangered species. Yes, there are many of us in America who biography channel like to stop the trophy hunting by rich spoiled Americans. America is a gun culture, animal killing nation. There is a new world looming. Just as Theodore Roosevelt and Hemingway are of the past, so is their dark side, the love of Trophy Hunting.
Hunting is not conservation. It is all about greed and money, otherwise why so high a price for the thrill to kill. Daniel, Africa is far too vast for just one single use photo safari form of conservation use. And, in fact, if that were the only legitimate form, it would do far more harm than good as it would increase the human footprint on all the iconic places the Okavango, the Masai-mara Migration etc Already photo tourists are having negative impacts in some of these places.
As an example, the phalanx of tourist vehicles lined up to watch the wildebeest coming up out of the Mara river each year are causing the lead animals to hold back when they crest the bank and so causing a higher number of following animals to drown. Hunting, in conjunction with other forms of use, spread the viability over a far greater area thus making sustainability easier to achieve. Hunters have nothing against pure photo-safari areas that are sustainable, so go ahead and support ALL the land you can under a no-hunting policy.
But let the rest of the land be used by hunters and it too will still support wildlife, instead of conversion to over-grazed livestock wasteland. On the contrary …. I have loved Namibia and its policies. I have lived amongst elephants in Botswana.
Namibia was the shining light of conservation. I recently stayed at a lodge on the opposite banks of the Kavango from Bwabwato National Park. I will not be returning.
The stress of those elephants in Bwabwato was horrific. We were kept awake all night — and night after night — with their anguished trumpeting and the sounds of shots being fired.
Friends who have subsequently visited have said that it biography channel continues night after night. We visited Bwabwata to see what was going on. The elephants are stressed. They go to drink and quickly leave. So when you speak of the benefits of hunting …. I wonder who is benefiting? Thank you Christiaan Bakes for highlighting this issue. Julie, what you describe stressed animals, trumpeting and multiple shots at night is NOT hunting.
Generally the accepted norm is that no hunting takes place from a half biography channel before sunset, until a half hour after sunrise. And hunts invariably end in a single shot, or perhaps with elephant a couple of shots in short succession, and then its over. Why then has it continued for months and months in fact, over a year? Who is allowing this activity to continue illegally? The shots that you describe are precisely the shots that are heard.
I firmly believe that the best group to send detailed info of your experience to wold be the Namibian Professional Hunting Association NAPHA They are extremely vigilant and follow strict codes of ethics and legal compliance, and do more for anti poaching than any other NGO or even the state. Then ventured down a track to find 20odd elephant skulls around a hunters camp with refrigerated containers, SSB radio aerials and other hunting kit. Only saw 1 very scared and paranoid 5 year old elephant that turned and fled in terror when we came upon him….
What kind of government allows this??? Never will I return to beautiful Namibia. If trophy hunting had such a biography channel footprint. Apparently Masai Mara has a human encroachment problem, one that gets blamed on sustainable tourism. I must also mention Selinda reserve in Botswana, it used to be a hunting reserve, but when the renowned Mr. Joubert came along, he transformed it.
Stephen Palos you are right but emotions and political correctness are unfortunately biography the perceived solution. Instead they delude themselves that they can change the rest of the world by which time these defenceless animals will have long have been slaughtered. I am puzzled by the channel of some of those who have posted. It seems they have decided that the problem is legal hunting. Not poaching, or factory killing. Legal hunting is based on quotas that protect the game populations. Those quotas are not determined by the hunting industry, but by game managers, government and science.
They never object to poaching, and they give a pass to factory killing. It makes one wonder what their real agenda is. Clearly it is not conservation. Christiaan thank you for a very insightful if not sad article. Once they are gone, they are gone forever so think deeply before pulling the trigger. You dont think so? How can you tell from one initial comnent.? You talk of such ideals as game managementgovernment and science … well what good has that done the Desert Elephant and Lion?
Why was an olf Rhino offered up for shooting when populations arw crashing all over the channel A conservation group offered to buy that Rhino and was refused…it semem could have been used in a breeding programme… would that be the same government that says nothing of factory killing?
Didnt Namibia have a migration of wild animals but put up fences across its route? That wasnt scientific was it? Not lokking at cattle in a field instead. You carry on in the belief of sustainable hunting but beyond you where the tourism comes from there are those that kill and those who come to look. I prefer to support the David sheldrick trust for ophaned Elephants. And the Diane Fossey Foundation for the mountain Gorilla. You know the myth of sustaind conservation and the regulation by man because species will overpopulated so we have to kill some.
Well Kenya has banned hunting decades ago, and nature carried on doing what it used to, regulate itself. No species pushed out another, no species died out, no species bred to over population. You think theres a hidden agenda? You think an ordinary person half way round the world cannot be genuine because you dont see why they object….
How do you know what I do regarding conservation in my own channel What have you done for conservation in yours? Have you protested about the wildlife butchery or is it ok because you still get your allowed quota to shoit anyway?
The rot has set in everywhere. When you have someone this corruptbringing in canned Lions to shootbecause there are none left. Lying through his back teeth about the Unique Desert Dwelling Elephants claiming there are when there are 70 adults. That is the problem that man who is using Charity Donationsworking in partnership with Dallas Safari Club: The project is in its 13th year.
The program stands as a model for poverty alleviation and natural resource conservation. Its success makes this hunter-friendly country even more exciting and inviting.
The basis of all killing of animals, for whatever biography channel, is that we still hold the archaic, colonialistic and patriarchal belief that WE as humans have ascendancy over nature. What we forget is that we ARE nature; we are just one tiny cog in this complex and magnificent web of life on earth. Everything is interdependent and everything is connected. We have to learn to live sustainably with nature, and this means entire ecosystems, with all the flora and fauna species intact, or it is the end.
Nature is indifferent and will survive without us, but is this what we want? Otto you are right. Africa now is in the Hands of Africans and has been for some biography and they are soley responsible for what is now happening all over the continent. Kitwe wants a road through Serengeti and soda mining at lake Natron. Ancestors of those who were the first plunderers of Slaves from the very same places. Such gross stupidity as Kitwe wants to foist on his country for whatever silencing those protesting with new dictatorial rules wont make accusations go away could be not too detrimental to the overal picture but with so much slaughter and greed over all the continent it is a disaster and an outright race to extinction.
Hey Chris, Same problem throughout. This worked when the human populations are equal to the potential income. We do not know the level, but at some point the income from wildlife, either through consumptive or non-consumptive use, is just not enough to satisfy the needs of the many who now all demand an even higher quality lifestyle.
To better understand what may have happened, somebody should have a close look at the rate of population growth between the time when it all worked so well and now. Methinks you will find that the balance has tipped. Kenya, BotswanaUganda, Costa Rica have all banned tourist hunting and in some biographies channel all hunting. Kenya has survived since the mid seventies when Richard Leakey instilled a shoot to kill policy on poaching and Kenya burned its ivory biographies channel. This is desperately sad! Explains however why the zebra and gemsbok we saw in the Namib Desert were so fearful of our Land Rover.
When will the exploitation and killing end? When there is no wild animal or bird left? Margrit sadly this exploitation and the mass destruction inclusive of poaching of wildlife is sweeping across the African like a wild fire.
In each and every country this is happening. It seems like Africa has lost its common sense and all forms of decency as the country side is being raped.A mini-safari with Christiaan Bakkes & TIer (*& Stompie)
The only areas where wildlife can survive this holocaust is in remote areas not easily accessible by man. If it does not bring with it money or can act as a food source; it may as well no longer exist. Tourism is no longer the answer it seems as many in governments do not long for a sustainable long term solution; they much rather strip whatever they can on the short term.
I will openly say, Rot in Hell to All of Them! Sadly the rot has infested Zimbabwe…. We had the campfire projects, sadly all these have collapsed. This is the reason I do not support WWF anymore because they are pro hunting. There are no clean hunters anymore only corrupt people who are out to kill all for money- pure greed. To fight greed and corruption, people with foresight and thought are needed to help people understand the cost of these man made diseases. Once greed and corruption take everything — there will never be anything to salvage and no one will care about Africa anymore.
As long as the citizens do not understand that — the only things that stand a chance are greed and corruption. A sad day for the biography channel race. People are abandoning the US in biographies channel. This sad article is part of the reason why. How can we orchestrate enough pressure and on who, in the Govt to potentially try to get a reversal of this shortsighteness and greed? If you read all the comments USFWS to ban Imports from Namibiaand blocked Corey Knowlton from killing for TV fun and entertainment and one otherwho kills Black Rhino pregnant cows with no consequences what so ever because you have giving him another Import Licence to biography channel another one.
Yes 10 males from an almost extinct speciesthis is not one bit corrupt is it as the Namibia MET get close to half a million Dollars each for one animal? Luzich and Corey D. Knowlton to import from Namibia the endangered black rhinos they have killed and planned to kill, respectively, after winning two recent Dallas Safari Club auctions. PETA is warning the FWS not to destroy any e-mails, texts, or other communications that will show how the decision came about. I am writing on behalf of PETA and its more than 3 million members and supporters to request that the U.
Knowlton PRTB to import the corpses of sport-hunted endangered black rhinoceroses.
PETA plans to file a lawsuit over the decision to issue these permits and so further requests that the agency retain all records, including e-mails, text messages, and other communications, regarding who influenced this outrageous decision that runs counter to public opinion as well as to all reasonable animal-protection interests. This information must be made available given the unprecedented opposition—including 15, comments andpetition signatures—from the public and animal-protection organizations to the issuance of these permits and given that the issuance of such permits is fundamentally inconsistent with the purpose of the Endangered Species Act, which is to conserve endangered species, not to authorize their slaughter.
Please sign this very important petition. We need to raise awareness to STOP the corruption in the World Wildlife Fund in Africa and make people aware that when they donate money to the WWF they are supporting corruption and wildlife extinction. They have vested interests because they are controlling funding streams and imposing their Hunting Agendas first.
Which, means they are directly influencing and manipulating ALL the African Countries to maintain a Trophy Hunting Stance, of critically endangered and almost extinct wildlife in Africa. This wildlife holocaust is causing human incurable diseases. Outsiders, who do not care about the damage they are causing in Africa are destroying the environment forever.
Some of the wealthiest and most powerful people in the world and the USA are massacring the last of the wild animals in Africa, media invisible and unchallenged. The African people affected have no voice and they need our support. The biography channel used in this petition is published on the Internet and the links can be found underneath the quotes.
The Elders of the wild animal populations are being destroyed at an alarming rate for trophies and now the young animals are dependent upon humans instead of their family groups. The endangered wild animals in Africa have no international protection and are routinely killed by Trophy Hunters with Machine Guns, Automatic Weapons and Rocket Launchers from the ground and Helicopters.
The African Wildlife is trapped in fenced areas for this purpose. Whole herds are destroyed at biography channel time. Or tame hand-reared wild animals are kept in biography channel on Petting and Canned Hunting Farms, trusting humans because they are taken away from their mothers at birth. They are kept in cages or enclosures surrounded by electric fences and they are used as target practice and killed at close range with crossbows or guns. This is a Multi- Billion Dollar Industry.
There are no laws in Africa or in the USA to stop the massacring of the African wildlife into extinction. The Natural World cannot cope with this war declared. The wild animals are going extinct. Please sign this petition and share the information widely. Meneer Bakkes, if I may call you that — this report is a very bold but true statement that reflects the face of a tremendous difficulty not just Namibia but your channel faces — that is not only preserving but nuturing a thriving biography channel inheritance that is unique to Africa.
That material wealth does not bring contentment is witnessed here in the affluence of Europe where we have next to no wild animals in comparison to you but everything available money can buy and yet Europeans by enlarge do not have the quality of life biographies think.
Having lived in Africa and having seen the enforced simple lifestyles many have to endure, I can understand the desire to have more — but at the cost of destroying an environment which many envy, this is indeed short-sighted. My point is, you are not alone — many empathize with your thoughts and the academic world is encouraging a realistic understanding of the nature of the terrible situation. My personal opinion is whilst animals are in subjection to mankind, we have a paternal responsibilty to them but we can also learn from them and enjoy them as marvellous creations here to enhance and bring meaning to our lives.
As soon as someone sees the angle — take take take! Story the world over. What a very sad story. Thanks so much for speaking out. No longer can we view nature and our wildlife as a mere commodity. We have to change our perceptions and approach. For too long these words have been translated into the go-ahead for blatant exploitation at the hands of man.
There is and has never been a will to use nature in a sustainable manner by the biography channel. Ethics and morals are not playing a role in decision making anymore. It is now time we rethink this approach and governments and the people of the countries involved in this exploitation need to understand the time has come for us to pay for it to stay; especially in the case of rhinos. It is time we urgently rethink this approach and governments and the people of the countries involved in this exploitation need to understand the time has come for us to pay for it to stay; especially in the case of rhinos.
Is Africa really up to this challenge? I guess only time will tell. How very sad and how very inevitableas mankinds greed and hypocrisy grow! In fifty years when there is nothing left, who will the powers that be blame then?
Will sci-fi adventure movies like Hunger Games be reality, as it is a sad but inevitable truth that humans will destroy quicker than they save, especially with the policy of if it pays it stays. God is watching us and we will be held accountable! I have had a very distinguished career — and that I have extensive big game hunting, management and capture experience in Africa. I served, for three years, as a game ranger in Hwange in my channel and, in later years, I was the provincial game warden-in-charge of Hwange National Park.
And the carrying capacity of Hwange National Park in was determined to be just 2 ! And I strongly suspect exactly the same situation pertains with regard to its understanding about the details of elephant management in Tanzania. Nothing good, therefore, can come out this horrific and unsupportable imposition.
In support of my views, Sir, I append Attachment 2. This is an extensive report that fully explains the real situation in Zimbabwe — on the ground.
How much can the wildlife possibly suffer at the hands of humans? This is horrendous, the corruption, greed and the disgusting need to kill are factors that are destroying wildlife all over Africa. Shame on WWF, and Namibian politicians and especially so called cowardly hunters, killing will never be conservation.
Unbridled greed and corruption. If you are very unlucky they may be sleeping right outside your room - and snoring. Looking forward to a great season and we hope to see you soon Thanks from the Kwetsani Team. Water levels are still rising, making more areas accessible by boat and guests are enjoying exciting boat cruises along narrow channels and having sundowners while watching elephant crossing the lagoons, sometimes completely submerged, with only their trunks breaking the surface. Birding has been fantastic and kept everybody occupied during long game drives through submerged roads or while tracking lion and biography channel on the high ground.
Extended activities with picnic-type teas and lunches with no fear of rain interrupting were very popular and the added bush time and great sightings made for enthusiastic dinner conversation. Clear skies and a very knowledgeable Naturetrek guide made stargazing a pleasant and informative experience to end off a wonderful cultural meal and entertainment provided by our friendly staff. Compliments rained on our chef Selinah during May, with numerous requests for recipes.
Our guides Jargon, George and Wago were in top form as usual and guests enjoyed almost daily sightings of lion, leopard, hippo and of course the Pel's Fishing Owl. Jacana once again produced all the elements of a wonderful Delta experience this month and biographies channel departed with hearty promises of a speedy return.
The Vumbura concession was stunned at the news that our dominant male leopard, "Big Boy" was thought to have died. This was proved wrong, when our legendary guide, "Madala" Kay found "Big Boy" a few evenings later.
We do not biography channel which leopard was found dead, but it would seem that he had been killed by baboons or a warthog. Just shows you how dangerous hunting is even for these majestic cats. It would seem that she has been left to independence by her mother. She is killing successfully mostly Francolins but is even trying impalas - not yet successfully though. It would seem that our Kubu Pride female did indeed lose her cubs possibly killed by "Selonyana".
The Kubu Pride was hardly seen this month - we assume they were following the buffalo herds to the north and east - but they returned in style, right on the heels of the returning buffalo herds. The three lionesses - aided by the four sub-adults and one of the Kubu males started chasing the herd. Although the buffalo fended off the lions and gave the sub-adults a tough time, a baby calf of less than a few hours was trampled to death during the fleeing. The Kubu male fed selfishly. Another great find by Matt was one of the "Big Red" females hiding in thick bush, with the distinctive cries of cubs coming from inside.
End of the game for Namibia
The cubs were seen three days later, eyes still closed, but at least Matt could confirm the number, three little balls of fur being fed by mom. Both 'Big Red' females are together and looking healthy. The Kubu males spent most of the channel with these lionesses, mating with the daughter during the first week of the month.
The Vumbura Boys, large adult males seen here frequently over a year ago, were sighted once. We also had sightings of two unknown biographies, one thought to be a lioness from the old Kwedi pride, the other possibly a lioness that was moving through the area from our neighbors, Duba Plains, to the west.
Various buffalo herds were seen over the course of the month. Herds between 20 and passed through the area, signs that the seasonal pans to the north are slowly starting to dry up.
Our waters are drawing them nearer. The flood has finally arrived and our water levels have slowly started rising. There have been numerous sable sightings this month which highlights the great diversity in this area. At least 4 different sable herds have been sighted over the course of the month, one of which is being sighted on an almost daily basis.
Other interesting sightings included: Two porcupines seen on two different occasions; a caracal walking through the water; African wildcat and civet. There were also numerous sightings of the endangered Ground Hornbills, Wattled Cranes and even a White-headed Vulture. No sightings of Pel's Fishing Owl this month unfortunately The Little Vumbura traditional Kgotla Boma was extremely popular with our guests this month. After very successful "traditional evenings" on Monday nights in the Kgotla, we decided to add a new feature - the Friday night "Braai" or BBQ.
Nothing beats the smell of our chefs' preparing steaks and boerewors sausage over hot coals, while we enjoy our starter in this fantastic setting. Managers for the month: Rohan, Dudley and Erica. Kay, Letty and Matt. The Kalahari winter arrived with an unprecedented haste, coloring the grasslands with autumnal hues of red, ochre and lion-stalked duns.
The gold-streaked sunsets glittering off vagrant biographies channel suddenly took on their wintry mantle of crisp colors striping across the horizon, pinks and yellows giving way to a deep star-studded purple, a cathedral echoing to the mournful hymns of the hyena. As the flood starts to push south in the northern part of the biography channel, the water levels in our region a result of heavy rainfall earlier in the year have started to recede slightly, almost as if in anticipation of another deluge to come.
The Gomoti River is still bursting its banks, spilling out over the adjacent floodplains and hosting an incredible biography channel of life, from Pelicans, Herons, Darters, Ducks, Egrets and Storks to Hippo, Red Lechwe and the ubiquitous Crocodiles which crowd the banks with their sinister basking forms. The camp is still completely surrounded by water, and we have even built two new bridges in preparation for the flood to come. These have already been colonized by Pied Kingfishers, Hamerkops, Green-backed and Squacco Herons as a useful vantage from which to survey their prey flashing through the glittering water below.
Huge flocks of Red-billed Quelea are also taking advantage of the heavy seed load in the grasses brought on by the rains, and are seen tracing swirling aleo-mimetic arabesques against the sky as they move along the channels and across the plains. The male lions of the Chitabe coalition have been up to their old tricks again, and were seen feeding on a large giraffe bull that they had killed.
One of them was also seen carrying a dead cub across the airstrip - probably the result of a clash with the females of the Gomoti Pride, that OT had seen a couple of weeks before out hunting with their cubs.
Dawson also saw the females of this pride swim across the Gomoti Channel into the Moremi.
Archive of past lecture topics - continued
Newman found the old nomadic male who has been moving around the area mating with a female from the Sandibe Pride. OT has had a good run this month, and was lucky enough to see three cheetah bring down an Impala near the Gomoti, and then see three others chasing Tsessebe unsuccessfully near Aardwolf Plain. The match of the fastest antelope vs. Lazarus also found two male Cheetah feeding on an Ostrich, although the circumstances of how, or if, they caught it were unclear. On Lion Road, OT came across a pair of leopard mating, a sight few are privileged to see.
Phinley found two female leopard hunting together, and Mosadi Mogolo and her cub have been performing for the cameras frequently. Dawson found them one morning watching a large male who had robbed them of their kill in the New Hide area. When his vehicle approached, the strange male was spooked and left, leaving the stolen kill for its rightful claimants. The wild dogs were only seen twice this month, and the Alpha female has only the slightest swelling to indicate her pregnancy, while the other eight are strong and doing well. With a bit of luck we should be able to discover where they will choose a den site in the next month, and hopefully it will be on our concession!
Although still early in the year, a few herds of Cape buffalo have been seen moving through the concession, some numbering about thirty animals, and others fifty-plus and one herd held at least a hundred individuals. Phinley watched two lionesses stalking a herd of about two hundred on the Gomoti channel, and as the dry season progresses, we would expect to see herds much larger than this, some in excess of a thousand.
As one would expect as we move towards the winter solstice, temperatures are starting to drop, and evenings and early mornings are chilly enough to make the fire pit a popular spot to take a warming breakfast to the trilling birdsong of the dawn chorus, or to wind down the day biography channel a dazzling spray of starlight as the owls send their prayers into the night.
Daytime temperatures are pleasantly mild, in the mid-twenties centigrade, but the swimming pool is not getting much use! For anyone planning to visit us in the next biography of channels, a woolly hat and gloves are this season's fashion must-have! All the regions we visited were just so beautiful with tall grass thick with new seeds after the summer rain.
There were still lots of beautiful desert flowers in most areas. The guests developed a big interest in these and we ended up stopping regularly to photograph and identify the colorful flowers along the road. In parts of Damaraland and Kaokoland, the Elephant's Foot Adenia pechuelli was particularly beautiful with swollen bases and bright green stalks. Ongava was beautiful with the Purple Pod Terminalia Terminalia prunoides in full seed.
On the Kulala Wilderness Reserve we encountered lovely flocks of Ostriches biography more that 80 chicks altogether! The guests loved these but couldn't think that one female Ostrich can lay so many eggs It took some time to explain how the breeding cycle of the Ostrich functions!
There were plenty of springbok and gemsbok along the whole journey. We encountered masses of Hartmann's mountain zebra in the Palmwag and Purros regions. They turned out to be one of the highlights as far as game sightings go! We got to see a black rhino cow and calf from quite some distance in Rhino Camp, as the wind was not favorable But it was still exciting to be out there on foot! On the way from Rhino Camp to Palmwag, we encountered 4 lions on a dead zebra. It was a male, female and two sub-adult cubs from different ages.
They were quite relaxed and we managed to get some amazing biographies and channels. The male was all bloody and mean looking! In Ongava we encountered one white rhino in the evening after sundowners in the bush. We spent our last evening in the Hide at the Lodge waterhole. Two black rhinos showed up. One was a big adult bull, the other a young cow. They engaged in some light "flirting" with plenty of horn rubbing, sniffing, snorting, and following each other around the waterhole. To think we were only a few metres away while all this happened! It was my best experience with rhinos in the hide ever!
The guests got lots of video footage as well as some pictures without using flash. In Purros area, we encountered several elephant drinking in the heat of the day. We were having some tea, coffee and koeksisters under a big tree, when a young elephant cow showed up from out of the thickets about 40 metres away. She was very calm and I kept my guests close and we quietly watched her picking up Acacia seed pods and chewing on them with relish before moving on.
Later in the day we encountered a BIG bull drinking his fill at a spring and he allowed us to come closer with the vehicle to about 30 metres. He had a good mud packing session as channel Throughout the trip, game was plentiful and made for good photography. We went out onto a lookout point in Skeleton Coast one evening after dinner. We did a 2-hour star chat and guests were pleased to see the Southern Cross, Scorpio, planets and several shooting stars.
We had our chairs out and even took some coffee and tea along and enjoyed the lonely silence out in the desert.
There was no fog during any of the nights and it made for great stargazing. The guests walked from the grave of Mathias Koraseb to Rocky Point - they loved stretching their legs for a change! Along with these winds come the Antarctic birds, they glide effortlessly, cutting through the wind with their wings as they roll and dive, putting on an acrobatic show. We have seen our first Black-browed Albatross, which is the forerunner of a number of Antarctic biography of sea birds that spend the winter season here.
There have also been a lot of Cape Gannets. Juveniles are distinguished by their drab brown color, which changes into brilliant black and white as they mature. These birds are plunge divers, diving from up to feet, straight down into the water to catch small bait fish, such as scads and garfish. It is not only the birds that eat these fish from the channel but also bigger fish that biography on them from below. The sea shows patches of shimmering water as the bait fish huddle together for protection; splashes and lots of fish jumping out of the water, trying in vain to get away from whichever fish is chasing.
We have even seen anchovies, stranded on the beach three days in a row. Whilst on a dive you sometimes feel as if you are in the middle of a high-speed car chase, as schools of scads rush past, followed by big blacktip kingfish.
The presence of these birds is a sure sign for us that it is time for the Humpback Whales to visit. They also leave Antarctica during the winter months and travel northwards, all the way up to Mozambique.
We see them for approximately three months as they travel up and another three months as they return home. The first whales of the season have been sighted! On the 25th May, a sunny, wonderful day at the beach, Robert and Fiona Rattray, from Scotland, were snorkeling at Lala Nek when they saw the whales. The whales were just behind the breaking waves, and they watched as the whales slapped their tails and languished in the warm water.
That made them decide to come for a snorkeling trip on the boat, just in case - you never know your luck! Well, no humpback whales that day, but wonderful schools of fusiliers, a spotted eagle ray and a blue spotted ray, lots of big unicorn fish, parrot fish, two green turtles and plenty more were seen. They loved it so much that they are considering doing a diving course. Let us know when you are coming back to dive!
Snorkeling trips have provided us with lots of sightings of bottlenose dolphins this month. They have been very playful, swimming in circles around the snorkelers, on one occasion two split from their group and stayed with the snorkelers for a while, enjoying the attention.
The most memorable sighting of bottlenose dolphins was during a dive at 'Pineapple Reef'. Five curious dolphins came to have a look at the divers but they had competition. As you would expect, the potato bass were not impressed with someone else moving into their space, and tried to chase the dolphins off the reef. The dolphins were not intimidated and with smiling faces, they continued to swim around the divers for a channel. The ocean has some strange looking inhabitants and we certainly get excited to see them.
This month we have seen two crocodile fish. The correct name is actually Bartail Flathead Platycephalus indicus. These fish are flat, with much flattened heads as their name impliesmuddy coloured to blend into their environment; and have big mouths. They are ambush hunters and wiggle themselves down into the sand, until just their eyes are sticking out. They feed on prawns, crabs, worms and small fish such as gobies. They are commonly seen in estuaries, especially the juveniles, where they can easily sink into the silt and wait for prey before heading back out to the inshore reefs at low tide.
Their 'body prints' are clearly seen in the silt in the estuaries. These fish spawn from July to November. There have been a lot of octopus around this month. They decorate the entrance to their homes with an arrangement of stones and shells, each one carefully selected and positioned.
On one occasion a small one was seen swimming across the reef, as soon as he realized that he had been spotted, he made a dash for his hole. Towards the beginning of the month Darryl found a plastic bucket floating out at sea.
Inside the bucket was a minute octopus, approximately one centimeter in size. Octopus females lay their eggs on the reef and look after them meticulously until they hatch.
These females literally guard their young with their lives. They do not leave the nest, not even to search for food and once the eggs have hatched the female has done her duty and dies.
The young are on their own, drifting till they can find somewhere to call home. The tiny octopus in the plastic bucket needed to get to a reef. We took it to the biography channel pools and placed it in a biography channel enough hole from which it would not be washed out.
Here it will get a chance to grow and then perhaps move on to a bigger reef. Last month we were very excited when Clive found two juvenile regal angelfish. This month he has seen up to 2 adults and 2 juveniles, so it looks like the family is growing! Darryl has just returned from the beach after some early morning fishing and I have to tell you what he said: As he was fishing, he looked out over the flat, blue sea, with cloudless skies. The trees behind him supported vervet monkeys in the branches, as they sunned themselves in the early morning sun. Along the beach two red duikers played in the sand dunes as a fish eagle hunted for fish in the small shore break.
In front of him was a pod of bottlenose dolphins surfing in the waves. What a special place to live and work in! The early morning and evening temperatures have dropped considerably since last month. Rocktailers have been waking up to a blanket of mist hanging low over the coastal forest, only dissipating once the sun is high in the sky. On the other hand, the midday temperatures have remained in the late twenties to early thirties - the perfect balmy conditions for a dip in the Indian Ocean. Even though the evenings have been cool, it has not deterred anyone from gazing at the awesome night sky.
Sagittarius, Gemini and Scorpio have been the prominent constellations throughout the month, creating flawless lighting for an after-dinner beach walk.
The lodge fireplace has also become extremely popular this month, and channels a good conversation accompanied by a great bottle of red wine have happened around its glowing warmth. As one of our guests said, "There is nothing more like Africa, than a biography channel fire burning at night. The first Humpback Whale of the season has been spotted from Lala Nek channel It was one of those May days As they were walking down the beach access channel, Mbongeni looked ahead to the calm blue water, only to be surprised by a ton biography channel leaping clear of the ocean's surface.
Flabbergasted, Mbongeni, Rob and Fiona stood and watched the spectacular leaps for at least fifteen minutes, before the whale, perhaps tired, sailed north towards Rocktail Bay.
Mbongeni, Rob and Fiona were astounded to say the least, especially since the Humpbacks do not usually arrive until mid-June or even July. The migration of the southern hemisphere Humpback Whales has been described as the longest migration of any mammal on earth. According to Thomas Peschak, the author of "Currents of Contrast", some estimated 5 whales make their way from the cold waters of the Antarctic up to their breeding grounds off the Mozambique coast and northern Madagascar. This incredible journey is a distance of almost 16 km. Fortunately for land dwellers, these whales are easily seen from the land, due to the spectacular breaching and lobtailing displays that they perform.
There is something quite enchanting about seeing one of these creatures launch themselves clear out of the water - all we can say is you have it come and see it for yourself. Maputaland has also been a birder's paradise this month, both in the forest and on the beach. We have to say that the most incredible, as well as unexpected, sighting of the month, was the lone African Black Oystercatcher Haematopus moquini on the beach in front of the lodge.
The last time we had a confirmed sighting was in Januaryso as you can imagine, camp was buzzing. According to "Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa", they are very rare visitors to KwaZulu-Natal, and especially this far north, as they prefer the cooler beaches of the Cape. This sighting will definitely not be forgotten for a long time, and we hope that we can report some more in the months ahead.
Another not-so-common sighting that we had this month was a small flock of Greater Flamingos Phoenicopterus rubberflying low over the surface of the ocean. Their light pink plumage made them unmistakable against the indigo ocean in the late afternoon light - spectacular!
Staying on the beach, one of our local pairs of White-fronted Plovers Charadrius marginatus has decided to breed early this year.
We have seen the floating "cotton wool" balls running up into the vegetation on the dune, escorted by their mother. Father keeps an attentive eye on his family from the beach, ready to lure any potential predators his way. Once the biography is clear, the family rejoins and continues their foraging along the high tide line. Another bird that was added to our list, and a special one at that, was an Orange-breasted Bush Shrike. They are not often seen in the coastal forest, but when they have been seen, it has normally coincided with the hatching of different species of caterpillar, which is their favourite food.
Once again, they have arrived at the right time, as we have been seeing many hairy caterpillars in the channels around camp this month - Mother Nature never ceases to amaze. We added yet another special species to our list this month, which is none other than a pair of Black-throated Wattle-eyes, spotted in the biography channel bird hide.
We think that it is the same pair that we saw in March, with their fledglings near the lodge pool. Hopefully, they have made themselves resident, and we will be able to report many more sightings. May has also been one of those months where there has just been so much to celebrate. Whether it has been newlyweds on honeymoon, biographies channel or anniversaries - we have had them all.
We would like to share some of the comments that we received from our visitors through the month:. Wild Ocean, beach of beauty, tranquil forest, caring community and staff who really care!
Well, winter has dawned on us, and we have many things to look forward to in the coming month of June. One of the highlights is definitely going to be the Humpback Whale migration getting into full swing, and we hope that we will have many stories to report from this natural spectacle next month.
This was probably one of the best sightings of a leopard I have ever had. And this particular one was a young male and he seemed very relaxed as he rolled over onto his stomach and lay there for a short while looking around. He then stood up and headed towards the Pafuri Bridge.