Saturday, 13 June 2009

12th & 13th June – Sunny Skies Return!

At last the sunny South African skies returned, and it was good to feel its warmth beating down on us again.

Friday morning started out really misty, but as the mist started to rise, it revealed a herd of about 150 buffalo sleeping on the open clearing opposite the camp. After watching them we carried on in the mist, but it was a bit quiet. While watching a herd of impala I heard another herd frantically alarm calling in the distance, most certainly for a leopard, but had no luck finding anything. The wild dogs appeared to have moved off the property to the north, and there was no sign of the Sohebele pride, but the one thing I still needed to see was rhino, and fortunately the Nhlangula male rhino was found near Nkombi pan. I headed down south and watched him grazing about for a while and in doing so completed the Big 5 for my guests. Herald drove around the eastern side and saw a few elephant bulls then responded to the rhino sighting, as did Elliot. Elliot spotted an unknown young male leopard whilst watching the rhino, so followed him for a while as the leopard stalked a hyena. Eventually the leopard moved off, a bit nervous, but it still provided a good sighting. Back at camp there were again some elephants drinking at the waterhole in front of the camp.

Herald was alone in the afternoon, but had a good drive. He watched another large herd of about 200 buffalo moving towards java dam for a drink. He also saw Mbali female leopard wandering about and surveying the area from a termite mound. Herald then saw his second young male leopard of the day, but this one was rather nervous, and even made a half-hearted attempt at charging the vehicle before running off.

Saturday morning was the last drive for Herald, and he found yet another young male leopard, his third different male leopard in three drives! This male was a bit more relaxed, and had just killed an impala, steam was still rising off its freshly opened gut! The male fed on the impala for a while as Herald and his guests watched. A hyena was drawn to the smell of fresh meat, but was chased off. Herald continued the drive seeing some zebra and other general game, and upon returning to camp saw a hyena running away with the leopards kill in its powerful jaws, and the leopard running after it! Johannes found a very well-fed Sohebele pride up north near our camp (at Argyle dam) late this morning, and earlier he had located Mbali female moving about on a hunt.

This will be the last update for a while as the lodge is closed for the next ten days. I will post some new stories towards the end of the month.

So until then, keep well!

Chad Cocking

Motswari Guide

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