Oliver's Camp enters its 14th year

September 2005

On September 8th the camp and I share our birthdays; Camp is now into its fourteenth year and I have entered my 50th year!

We are both in good spirits and I look forward to many more years of enjoyment at Camp. Old friends return, new ones are made and Oliver's Camp continues to be most visitor's favourite place on their safari. Upgrades at camp include wonderful open to the sky showers, new beds and linen, beautiful glassware and crockery, new grass mats and excellent new solar lights.

September moves along and the cool period which usually ends by Mid August is still with us - the rains could be late- as they have been the last two years. Fire has been kept out by National Parks and the water holes in Silale swamp and along the Tarangire River still hold good amounts of this precious commodity. If the landscape is burnt bare, when the rains fall 90% just runs off the land- if the old dry grass is still standing albeit trampled by thousands of hooves, the rain is held and soaks into that area instead of running away. I am quite certain that this is why our water holes are holding rainwater longer these days. Keeping fires out is so important. So as long as the rains come before Mid December the wildlife will be fine this season.

Bush Colour It never fails to surprise me each and every year, it just gets better and better and more beautiful and more wondrous. I am not talking of the food at Oliver's Camp (for once) but the wildlife experience at Oliver's Camp. The resident Oliver's Camp head guide there these days is Marc Weiner - a South African with many years of experience both in Southern safari countries and East Africa.

For 4 years now fire has been kept at bay in the area around camp. The grass and trees have really improved and the buffalos and elephants cannot get enough. Many more bird species are now resident in the area and even the insect life is more interesting. That is largely due to Marc's amazing knowledge of these sometimes not so popular animals. But on a bush walk with Marc, you'll enter the world of insects as with no other guide. He enjoys the big stuff as well and recently witnessed 4 lionesses chasing an old buffalo whilst walking at the rear of camp. The guests were excited and slightly worried all at the same time. The buffalo got away and Marc and his guests headed back to camp as darkness was falling fast and the lions would be looking for other prey!

Rachel the Lioness The lion viewing around camp is exceptional and as its become drier and the wildlife more concentrated the lions are quite easy to find. Our favourite female Rachel has three new cubs and she is busy keeping the 4 boisterous 18 month cubs away from these little cats. They would just play too rough and could unintentionally hurt these 12 week old cubs. She is a great mum and even forces the resident male away if he comes to close to them - poor fellow - he just wants to be a good dad! But Rachel knows best.

My next piece of news will be about an exciting development in the Serengeti.

WATCH THIS SPACE - Best wishes happy safaris where ever you are