Camp Manager's Diaries

Bush babies, hornbill chicks and a startling night-time encounter

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Most of us who live at Elsa’s work on a rotation basis – about 8 weeks ‘on’ and then 2 or 3 ‘off’ and it works very well.  Sometimes we take a little longer away and coming back is more of a change.  So we thought we’d better bring you up to date with our longer-term residents’ news.

The genet cats who liked to have a bowl of milk in the Managers’ cottage most evenings were not to be seen and I wondered what had caused this rejection until I met the bushy tailed mongoose who has obviously turfed them off the patch and comes most nights ‘after lights out’ to see what’s on offer.

Mr Scruff – the rather disreputable hornbill who lives around the reception – has released his wife from her confinement together with a fine example of young hornbill manhood and all three are happy to come for the odd worm from the worm farm in the office.

The fish in the pond by the bar (tilapia Niloticus) were thriving on their morning slice of toast until a cormorant discovered an easy and rather delicious addition to the Elsa’s menu and now spends quite a lot of time by the ‘pool with a view’.   I can’t say I blame him.

The much photographed bush babies in the tree on the hill have two new companions in the form of a pair of dikdik who seem happy to lie on the sand in the shade and hardly stir when the shiny game vehicles go past on their daily outings.

Lucy, our Relief Manager, got some amazing images of both the resident leopard and a curious porcupine with the night camera by the swimming pool.  Alex, the Head Waiter, had an unusual visitor when he pottered out in his pyjamas late one night –  I can’t think which would be more disturbing, the hyena or Alex in his pyjamas?!

There’s lots going on at Elsa’s that not everyone gets to hear about …

Phil & Charlie


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Welcome to the new Elsa’s Kopje website, we will be sharing with you news from camp, including special wildlife sightings and exciting happenings in the conservancy. Best wishes Philip and Charlie.