The month of September sees the return of large herds as they congregate around various sources of water. In Liwonde National Park large herds of elephant, sometimes up 90 animals can be seen together. In Nyika National park, eland and roan antelope are also coming together in large herds than previously seen in the preceding months. At the lake the water temperatures are increasing and the sun is getting hotter – ideal time for water activities, including snorkeling and relaxing on the beach. There is something for everyone – talk to us, and we will help you get to your local and regional holiday destination!
Mvuu Lodge & Camp
Weather & Landscape
Temperatures are rising steadily in Liwonde NP, with a 5.30am sunrise the heat builds up quickly during the day to around 30'C, cooling down in the early evening. The increasing temperatures and water scarcity brings the animals to the Shire River in the early mornings and later in the day.
Some repair work was carried out on water pumps for the rhino sanctuary watering holes, and the situation is now back to normal.
In the sanctuary and surrounding mopane woodlands; large herds of buffalo, sable, roan and Lichtenstein’s hartebeest are often seen with their young. The black rhinos have been encountered both in and outside the sanctuary boundary. A few bush pig have also been seen.
Lion spoor has been seen on several occasions south of the camp but still no sightings. Hyenas on the other hand are frequently heard calling well into the night, tracks are often seen and there has been one recent sighting on the road at night. A side striped jackal was also recently sighted, the first sighting at Mvuu for a long while.
Birds & Birding
Local regular bird populations remain and are now being supplemented by the arrival of migrants. Waders in increasing numbers on the river with common, green, marsh and wood sandpipers joining greenshank, little stint and avocets. Multiple egrets, ibises and herons are seen, large roosts of black crowned night herons are usually active and feeding in the evenings and the white backed night herons have bred very successfully. A pair of Senegal lapwing are nesting on the Southern flood plain. African skimmers can also be seen feeding on the river in early evening and early morning. Gull and tern roosts are increasing with gull billed, whiskered and white winged terns all seen in the area. Seventy Greater Flamingos were seen flying down the river recently.
Blue cheeked bee eaters have arrived in large groups, a few carmine have been seen flying locally and European bee eater should be arriving soon. A group of swallow tailed bee eaters remains resident at the edge of the sanctuary. Wattled starlings and violet backed starlings have also returned. The first European barn swallow has arrived.
Pels fishing owl are heard calling most evenings and a roost of up to four birds can be found on the river. A pair of African wood owls roost near the lodge. Marsh owl has been seen hunting on the flood plain. Spotted eagle owl, barred and pearl spotted owlet have been seen on drives near the camp.
Lesser masked and brown throated weavers have developed breeding plumage and are frantically nest building.
The hotter weather is bringing out snakes, both puff adder and black mamba have been seen on recent drives. Water and rock monitors are present near the river. There are many serrated hinged terrapins basking in the sun on the river banks.
Crocodile mating behaviour continues and the females are often seen up on the banks guarding their nests. A baboon troop was seen eating crocodile eggs recently.
Poaching incursion into the park and sanctuary remains a constant sub theme. Poaching groups with dogs have been seen and heard at night and poachers have burnt a large area north of the park.
Chelinda Lodge & Camp
Weather and Landscape
The weather has been very warm and windy. It’s also quite dry and dusty around the camp. Bracken ferns are now lush green and some animals are taking refuge in these at night. After controlled burning in areas around the lodge and camp, in preparation for the rains, larger groups of animals are now seen in close proximity.
There have been good sightings of general game especially, eland and roan antelopes which are congregating in big numbers now. Lots of calves are visible amongst the herds. There have been frequent sightings of leopards, serval cats, and spotted hyenas. Elephants hardly frequent the plateau, however venturing into the woodlands increases ones chances of seeing them and there are many clear signs of their activities along the roads.
Birds and Birding
There are some signs of migratory birds coming back to the plateau. Barn & blue swallows and common sandpipers have been sighted in the area. Yellow billed kite and black kites also are around.
Weather & Landscape
Summer is hear it’s getting hot and the water temperatures are perfect for swimming and snorkeling. What better way to spend holidays than by a pristine beach and crystal clear waters.
After a break, the speed boat has been repaired and is back in the water. A variety of activities are on offer including; waterskiing, tubing, banana boat, sunset and snorkeling cruises. For more details and costs please contact our booking office.
Guests have enjoyed bird watching forays in the areas around Chintheche Inn and have been rewarded with great sightings. These have included ospreys, reed & white breasted cormorants, blue-spotted & red-eared mourning doves, fish eagles, little bee-eater and much more.
Nature walks for Children
Children have been treated to nature walks looking at things in nature and getting to appreciate the world around them. The excitement of the children during and after the nature walks is reward in itself to our staff who are all too happy to share the wonderful surrounding areas of Chintheche Inn. Whether it’s looking at bugs, trees, fruit or village constructions, the children always seem to be in awe of nature and the bounties it provides.
Tree Project – Root to Fruit Update
Root to Fruit have been holding monthly Children in the Wilderness (CITW) events with 7 schools, reaching over 130 local students every month. In addition “Tree clubs” are being set up in various communities, support with community training, which ensures that the trees will be properly managed once planted in the field.
There was a 2 day training course with 22 students from Chitipa, who will be returning home to teach their respective zones how to care for the 20,000 seedlings they will be receiving from Root to Fruit this year.
In addition Root to Fruits recently hosted nearly 100 Tourism students from Mzuzu University at the Chintheche Inn Tree Nursery, and they were very impressed with the ongoing efforts to help "green" Malawi's tourism industry. One professor would like to interview and reference Root to Fruit work as part of his research for his thesis on environmental standards in Malawi's tourism sector.
The nurseries themselves are looking greener and lush every day. It is now the final push for seed sowing, concentrating on fast growing species, in order to have healthy seedlings for planting in December and January.
Family Time with Wilderness Safaris
At Wilderness Safaris guests can spend quality time as a family exploring the exciting wildlife in these areas as well as have “time out” to pursue their own interests or relax while our enthusiastic staff provide insightful entertainment and special activities just for children.
Led by Wilderness Safaris guides, our activities subtly encourage children to learn about and fall in love with the wildlife and natural environment around them.
Each family-friendly camp offers different activities suited to its own particular environment, Children can also take part in various arts and crafts, often geared towards acquiring particular traditional skills, giving them the opportunity to learn about the local culture and customs, while still having fun.
What’s more, in order to make family travel more affordable we recently introduced a more favourable Child Travel Policy for Malawi residents only. In brief, we offer:
· Free accommodation for children under 4years old
· 50% discount all year round for children between 4 and 16 years old (if sharing with an adult)
The only thing left to do is simply sit back and enjoy a relaxed family experience
Christmas with Wilderness
The festive season is just around the corner, why not share this special holiday with us at one of our properties. We will be planning special family activities at Mvuu Camp and Chintheche Inn. Our staff will lay on some special children activities and meals to give you the special family holiday you need. Delicious, mouthwatering Christmas meals will be prepared with families in mind. For those couples, or friends who also want a quality holiday Mvuu & Chelinda lodge are waiting to welcome you to make your festive holiday a special on too. Contact us for bookings, inquiries and more information.
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