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May 2024

So far we’ve had a very mild start to the winter in Madikwe. Sunrise during the month of May is around 06:50. Sunset around 17:40. Average morning temperatures are currently around 8’C (46’F) and 28’C (82’F) during the middle of the day. No rain fell during the month.

Activities generally commence later in the morning this time of the year. Game drives leave an hour later than in summer due to the sun rising later. Morning drive’s start off on the chilly side, but it warms up quickly as the sun continues to rise. So still remember your sunscreen.

Be sure to bring warm clothing but whatever the guests lack can be found in Mateya’s beautiful curio shop.

Afternoon game drive’s leaves at 15:30 after high tea and return after dark in time for a drink at the bar and a debrief of the day’s sightings at the crackling fire in the main lodge.

Madikwe is becoming increasingly dry which improves visibility as vegetation thins out. Mateya’s main water hole becomes very active, and few meals are enjoyed without animals drinking in front of the lodge. Winter brings a time of different colour schemes and sights, definitely worth experiencing. I personally like the winter best for wildlife photography as it gives beautiful pastel colours in uncluttered backgrounds.

We were lucky to find the two Mahiwa male Lions around the lodge a few times. Even roaring for us during dinner on a couple of occasions.

Leopard sightings picked up nicely during the month with the vegetation being more open. The female Cheetah that left her three teenage boys to fend for themselves was seen a few times during the month and we are happy to report that they are all doing well.

Wild dog sightings went down a bit in May. Reason for this is that Wild Dogs will generally start to “den” this time of the year. The alpha female will normally be heavily pregnant and as soon as she finds a suitable and safe den sight to have her young, they then tend to stick around the area for a while. In Madikwe the Wild Dogs favor the mountainous areas where predators like Hyena and Lion are not so commonly found. But “hunting parties” still go out daily to find food for the pack. Normally regurgitating for the pack members that stayed behind. So, it’s mostly a case of “right place, right time” to catch them when they go out hunting.

We are looking forward to the new season.

Hope to see you soon!

The Mateya team.