TRACKING OUR ELEPHANTS
An exciting event took place this month when, for the first time in Lapalala’s history, we placed tracking collars on two of our elephants. We are now able to track these amazing animals 24/7 from a computer screen. The internal development of this advanced technology (a Rapula project led by Mr. Mark Marshall) is taking big steps towards improving the monitoring of our wildlife!
AVERAGE TEMPERATURES & RAINFALL
JULY Rainfall = 0 mm Min temp = 4.6 °C Max temp = 18.5 °C
PECULIAR WINTER WEATHER!
It has been an unusual winter in Lapalala, mirroring reports of strange weather phenomena all over the world. The early frost in May-June and the mild weather that followed in July seem to have had the greatest effect on the flora of our reserve. Take, for example, this photograph of a South African wild pear in full bloom snapped this month in Kolobe!
Close to 16 km of game fencing was broken down and removed this month, finally joining the recently acquired Touchstone section with the existing Lapalala Wilderness. Animals from both sides immediately started crossing over the once solid boundary, as yet another human impact was removed from the beautiful Lapalala landscape.
MORE BUFFALO ARRIVING…
Our second buffalo herd keeps growing! This month, 32 buffalo were introduced into a temporary holding camp and will soon be joining the group of buffalo that arrived in March. These newcomers will form the foundation from which Lapalala’s future free-roaming buffalo population will grow.
Over the past 100 years, man has left the footprint of his activities all over the Waterberg. It is observed in various shapes and forms, usually related to farming activities: old buildings, water troughs and dams, old rusted fence posts, to name a few. This is, however, changing rapidly on Lapalala as the environment team is working relentlessly to clear these unsightly scars from the landscape. Whether by heavy machinery, physical labour or concrete-breaking expanding powder, the wilderness is systematically being cleansed.
FOUNDERS’ BIRD LIST
Adding to our growing bird list for Founders Camp (now at 85 species), this stunning lilacbreasted roller makes a regular visit to our pan in front of the lodge. Rollers get their name from their impressive courtship flight; a fast and shallow dive from considerable elevation with a rolling or fast rocking motion and accompanied by loud raucous calls. All rollers appear to be monogamous and highly territorial.
MAKING A HOME AT FOUNDERS
This beautiful, red-headed weaver male was spotted outside the Founders Camp laundry room,
building his nest in the hope of attracting a female mate. Using twigs, leaves and grasses, the male intricately builds the nest beneath the tree canopy.
EARLY RISE TO BUSHMAN PAINTINGS
On an early morning start, Gary took a group of guests to catch this glorious sunrise over Bushman paintings.
TRAPPED ON CAMERA!
Another first time record for Lapalala! This camera trap photo shows a beautiful side-striped jackal (Canis adustus) wandering quietly in our wilderness. This long-legged species of jackal is much more timid than the commonly sighted black-backed jackal (Canis mesomelas) and therefore rarely seen. As this animal is more common to the eastern parts of South Africa, we were actually not certain whether it occurred on Lapalala. It had never been sighted here with confidence. But here is the proof! Another very special and elusive animal to add to our ever-growing species list.