Monday, 30 March 2009

Leopards, leopards and more leopards!!!

Another windy morning and overcast skies, with a light drizzle to start, but that soon past and allowed us to get on with our game drives.

We really wanted lions, and soon picked up tracks for possibly a male and female lion, but the rain had ruined the tracks, and they were heading off the property, so decided to leave them. A bit further along the road, we came across some giraffe and waterbuck with a suckling calf, as well as more tracks for what looked like the Sohebele sub adult lions. Unfortunately they too were heading towards some private camps whose privacy we need to respect, so we couldn’t follow up there either. Feeling a bit down on our lion luck, and hearing that the young male leopard was still in control of his kill – except now in daylight he was acting aggressively towards the vehicles, I wasn’t sure what to do. That was until Giyani called to tell us that he had found Rockfig and Nkateko leopards down south. Minutes later I heard an even better call, Johannes had located Mangadjane male leopard a few hundred meters from the other two.

My guests really wanted to see Mangadjane again after having seen him two years ago on a visit to Motswari, so we headed straight there. We arrived just as he had finished eating a guineafowl (a chicken-like bird) he had caught minutes before while Johannes was following him. Mangadjane then turned his attention to some impala that were heading his way, he stalked close, but they unfortunately saw him and he realized his cover had been blown and then nonchalantly walked straight past the impala herd as if nothing had happened!
We left him to go and see Rockfig, a leopard my guests hadn’t seen, and needed to drive past Nkateko sleeping in a tree! We arrived at the Rockfig sighting, and she was walking through the bush, came up to a large marula tree, rubbed up against it in typical leopard fashion, and then proceeded to climb it and perch herself on the largest branch and started grooming! She later jumped to another branch and fell asleep.
This allowed us to go back to Nkateko who too was up a tree, but actively surveying her surrounds. After spending some quality time with our third leopard this morning, we decided to head home for some breakfast, seeing a couple of bull elephants on the way home, including one at reception.
Giyani also managed to spot his fourth leopard of the drive as it crossed the road 100m in front of him. He didn’t bother pursuing it into the bush, instead he too returned to the camp, and all the guests were then treated to the sight of about 25 elephants coming down to drink at the camp waterhole, and amongst them was a tiny baby.

That wrapped up another great morning at Motswari!

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