HAPPENING AT MLAWULA
INTRODUCING THE BABOON VILLAGE
know that baboons live in more-or-less the same community set up like
it or not these primates have permanent homes and villages with defined
hierachial structures. Our photographer took a walk along the Mbuzi
fishing trail and came across this fascinating site with the story untold.
Although it is not easy to have a close encounter with the inhabitants
of this hide-out but a lot of evidence shows that this is a permanent
territory. Ask the tourist officer at the reception desk for directions
to the baboon cave.
You can tell by the shiny floor that even the youngest in the group
understands the basic rules, like no littering. This is the focal point
of the village and presumably where most social gatherings take place.
(insert picture 2)
Various sentry outposts can be observed around the cave and these serve
as part of the strategy in ensuring that the group is not caught off
guard by predators like leopards
Above the cave lies the sunbathing lounge and this is a perfect spot
during the cold winter months. If one has been to Mlawula in summer
they wont believe the sharp contrast in weather patterns, hence even
visitors to the park can enjoy the comfort of this zone (
prior arrangements of course).
It must be noted though that access to the lounge spot goes through
a tight security route. This is strictly for the lightweights, and moreover
the route perfectly meets the expectations of one who seeks those extra
adrenaline pumping adventures. So if you don't trust your rock climbing
techniques you better not take any chances. Visit Mlawula and exhaust
your desire in this pristine woodland.
While in the vicinity of the baboon village one can spend time testing
their fishing skills. For the experts even the notorious tiger fish
will be a trophy without much sweat. But come to Mlawula and see it
Among other things one would enjoy the spectacular sight of some of
the oldest ironwoods of the region like Androstachys johnsonii.
As the saying goes, 'attention rewards those who pay it'. Just take
a close look at the competitive strategy of this plant species. One
would agree that this species has a special mechanism by which it discourages
other trees to grow directly underneath except for a few shrubs and
grasses. In this way the plant is able to deal with competition for
nutrients by other deep rooted plants.
On another note, the park will be hosting a group of British students
who will be undertaking a study on some ecological aspects of the reserve.
This is part of the Lubombo Conservancy and the objective is to establish
the species composition and location of some prominent sites that will
boost the tourism attractions in the region. The tour has been organised
by Quest Overseas and part of the activities will include the study
of cycads in the park, as well as compiling data on medicinal properties
of some plants in the park's nursery.
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