It was fascinating to watch 5 egrets all try and land at the top of the same tree. They continued wheeling around the tree for ages making for some great photo opportunities.
David and goliath
On the way up to do a staff transfer run Julia saw the rather unusual sighting of a goliath heron and a finfoot together.
One tusk in camp
We were visited in camp regularly over the course of the month by 'one tusk' who is the most regular elephant visitor here.
No GMA sightings this month, but no shortage of dogs in the National Park.
One tusk in the river
"One Tusk" again providing guest entertainment. In the river this time. The spectacle of elephants in a river is always amazing, what makes it more special here is if they then climb on top of rocks! We don't see it often, but when we do it is incredible!
Regular predator sightings. As temperatures hot up and the bush dries out sightings of lions, wild dogs. leopard get far more regular.
A massively cropped picture, but I was highly excited to see my first ever lesser Jacana (at Kaingu that is) and grab a picture of it. All while waiting for guests to arrive for an island sundowner.
The Kaingu Lodge logo is the pied kingfisher. Quite appropriate really as I don't think I have ever been on the river and not seen one. The pied kingfisher is apparently the only African kingfisher that is capable of a true hover. They have been clocked flying (not diving) at 50km/hr. Rapid little things!
Chalet improvements 1
We also rolled out some chalet improvements over the month of July. The first one is new luggage racks/wardrobe units. All work by Julia.
Chalet Improvements 2
We have replaced all the bedside rugs with new sisal rugs and every room now also has a Nguni cow skin rug too.
And then because we were taking pictures of chalets we couldn't help but take one of the view in the evening dusk.
Birdlife on the river
Its not just the mammal sightings that have started to really kick in. As the river levels continue to drop the bird numbers just keep on increasing almost daily. From the specials to the more everyday ones...
And once again the wonderful 'one tusk'. This time he was checking out the solar hot water and PV panels at Chalet 2.
American guests were celebrating a rather special event. Cake and decorations by Julia and Lizzy.
The most fantastic thing about July (for me anyway) is the morning mists on the river due to the cold temperatures. It is simply amazing and wll worth frozen fingers and an early start.
July mists 2
We can never get enough of these mists! Actually few guests elect very early morning cruises (for some reason it is usually an afternoon choice), but as you can see it is actually the best time.
Kill by the camp
A wild dog kill 1km from camp meant some great vulture sightings. Kaley and I went back after the guests had seen the dogs and spent an hour just watching the action.
River by night
Coming back after packing up an island sundowner.
I always associate our pools loop with golden evening light, golden grass and loads of hartebeest. The pools this year are really full with water and I am betting they will hold water right through to the rains. Should make for productive sightings the whole season.
We were taking guests upriver for a spot of canoeing and saw that our canoes had an admirer. Bear in mind our canoes are almost 4m long and are dwarfed by this massive crocodile. The biggest I have personally ever seen.
Kaingu rock art
And our final image from July is the rather interesting rock art that is found near the lodge. Fascinating. Most theories are that it is an ancient 'nsolo' game and that the place was probably a meeting point (market?).