Samara “January Newsletter”
Kondoa Mountain of Opportunity
I have noticed that animals see every new season with new opportunities, endless advantages and the possibilities for a better tomorrow.
It’s been an amazing New Year at Samara reserve; we’ve had good weather combined with the most spectacular thunder storms and overall we had good rains. The Karoo is lush green with new life sprouting everywhere and waterholes filled to the brim.
Cheetahs have been the highlight of the sightings after moving to the top of Kondoa Mountain and for a good reason. Kondoa mountain represent one of the four biomes of Samara which is mountain grassland dominated by themeda triandra or red grass. Red grass is the most palatable grass and thus the most important grazing grass. December marked the height of the calving season of the Black Wildebeest, Eland and Gemsbok, and is generally timed with the onset of the good rains, which will provide the plains game at the top of the mountain with all the required pastures to ensure the effective growth of their offspring. The cheetah takes this opportunity of calving period for an easy meal. For the past two weeks Sibella’s cubs, Chilli and Pepper had a very successful hunting season. I tracked and sighted Chilli eating a baby black wildebeest which she had killed around the windmill area and Pepper had killed a kudu around the Eagles rock water hole. – Tendai Moyo
Sibella continues to thrive! She was suffering from parasites and was very thin when we found her. We are currently monitoring her progress everyday and she is improving tremendously and has gained some weight in the process. For those of you who have still not send photographs of Sibella and cubs, particularly her first and second litters of 6 and 7 cubs please don’t hesitate to sent them to email@example.com.
Birding at Samara
Just before sunset yesterday a Fish Eagle was spotted flying low over the waters of the de Barracks water hole. Having sundowners at Red-Hartebeest crossing one late afternoon we watched a magnificent Martial Eagle We are regularly seeing Booted Eagle soaring over the mountains surrounding the Wolwe Kloof Valley Peregrine falcon has been seen for the first time this summer. It is a summer visitor and was seen on top of Kondoa Mountain just last week And as always South Africa’s National bird – The Blue Crane can be seen in the Northern and Southern parts of Samara.
Bat eared fox have been sighted around their den more regularly at the view point on southern part of the reserve. Most of the antelope and ungulates continue to give birth and we are seeing many young of most of the species on Samara.
New Years Eve
The old year was coming to a close and all around you could feel the air brimming with excitement. Guest were welcomed back from their afternoon game drive with a glass of ice cold Champagne and relaxed listening to the local Le Petit Jazz Band from Graaff Reinet. With the evening off to a good start and one of the most spectacular sunsets Samara has seen everyone came through for a dinner. After dinner everyone kicked off their shoes and danced until well past midnight and embraced the New Year.
Amarula Cupcakes (makes 12)
• 1 cup sugar
• 115g butter
• 2 eggs
• 1.5 cups flour
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 1/4 cup Amarula
• 1/4 cup milk
1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.
2. Set aside a 12-cup cupcake tray with cupcake liners.
3. In a large-ish bowl, cream the butter until smooth.
4. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy and white.
5. Add the eggs and mix well.
6. Add the dry ingredients in two parts, with the milk and Amarula inbetween.
7. Now you can spoon the batter into the cupcake liners. They should be about three-quarters full.
8. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
Amarula Buttercream Ingredients:
• 4 cups icing sugar
• 125g butter
• 1/4 cup Amarula
• additional milk
1. Cream the butter with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
2. With the mixer on low speed, add the icing sugar and Amarula.
3. If the icing is not creamy enough, you can add some more milk until it is smooth and creamy.
Compliments of Bake Love not War
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