The bush is about so much more than the Big 5. The clean air, the big blue skies, the night sky dotted wit countless stars, and i could go on and on. That being said, its still great to see these esteemed animals that make up the Big 5.
From an empty camp last night (anda rather enjoyable staff party!), we picked up a fair bit today with 10 new guests checking in. Most of the guests driving in got rewarded with the sight of the Sohebele pride of lions sleeping right next to the Timbavati access road! A great welcome to Africa I would say! If that wasn't enough, while the guests were checking into their rooms there was an elephant near the camp waterhole!
The afternoons drive started off a bit quietly, no surprise on a warm afternoon. I headed down south, hoping that the Machaton pride would still be in the area after hearing that they hada wildebeest kill this morning. Godfrey found a large breeding herd of buffalo up north in a nice open area and spent some good time with them, also seeing a few elephants as well before enjoying a nice sundowner.
Down south, we managed to tick off some zebras, had a good sighting of Mtenga-tenga our relaxed male white rhino after he had finished wallowing in the mud and was once again scratching himself on some nearby trees. He wandered with 1m of the vehicle before walking off into the setting sun. Not far from him were 2 lions; one of the Machaton females and one of the Timbavati males - absolutely bloated after gorging themselves on their kill earlier today; that unfortunately meant that they weren't too active, but still nice to see them.
After a nice sundowner we headed home and found two youngish hyenas sleeping on the road, and then a bit later manged to relocate on an unknown young male leopard that Elliot had found earlier. He was sitting behind a termite mound, quite close to a large herd of impalas. We decided not to disturb him and let him hunt in peace. Not 500m from the leopard we came across that same herd of buffalo crossing one of the boundary roads into the neighbouring property, some tiny babies amongst them too.
That left us only a couple of kilometers from camp, and with only elephant needed to complete the Big 5 for the drive. And well, of course we bumped into one! It was a great treat for the guests to see all 5 on their first drive, and what i liked was that it was rather unplanned, the animals all just happened to be on the road that i had chosen to go home on!
Now we wait to see what tomorrow brings!