The mowing program has stated on the Chamabonda Vlei. Mike Karasellos has moved in this crew and we have started around Thomsons Pan – this area has not been mowed before. This is the third year of mowing sections and has proved a very successful management tool. The grass is already greening up, and the zebra moving in.
We have also put in place our burning program, working with fire gangs from the Jafuta Foundation, National Parks, Nakavango Estates and the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust.
Two large controlled block burnings were undertaken – one large section from No1 borehole to the entrance gate, and the other on the south side of the Kalisosa Vlei. These are relatively cold burns, aimed at removing the old moribund grass, and to bring on a green bite to carry the animals through winter. Within a week , the green shoots started coming through, and the sable and zebra began moving into the burnt area.
Later on in the year, it is planned to do a hot burn in one of the sections – the aim here is to knock back invasive vegetation on the vlei – especially Mangwe (Terminalia)
I (rather belatedly!) checked on the Comments Book I had left at No 3 for visitors and was pleasantly surprised to find a couple of nice comments:
“ Wonderful! Congratulations on providing the best facilities at a waterhole anywhere in all of the National Parks! We know since we are currently doing a feasibility study on how to upgrade tourism facilities in all 11 National Parks. I would like to contact Bhejane Trust to see if this model can be followed at other destinations/Parks”
These were South Africans and not sure what Parks they are working on. Have dropped them a very belated line to see.
From a couple of Americans:
“Amazing hide/camp. Grateful for running water and flush toilet. Spent most of the night listening to and watching breeding herds of elephant come to drink. 6-7 largish
herds of 9 – 18in herd. Lots of calves. We had to be absolutely silent as they became nervous. Such a privilege to see them, thought the ele’s in the Park seem very nervous
and unrelaxed. Thank you to all with the Bhejane Trust for providing this wonderful venue to view wildlife overnight”
I have been talking to Stephen Kiggen of Kiggen Builders about erecting a hide at Timots Pan. It is early days yet, but we are getting together a list of required materials
and possible donors!!
Another development is I managed to trade some donated diesel for loads of gravel, to fix the road in the Chamabonda and make it all weather. The next load of diesel will go
into the tractor and grader for upgrading the road.
From : Bhejani Trust
By : Trevor Lane
7 August 2014