Wednesday morning produced sightings of a small herd of elephant near Piva plains, as well as a bull elephant not far from camp, and there was some fair general game about – we saw waterbuck, impala a herd of giraffe, kudu, bushbuck and a nice daytime sighting of the highly nocturnal civet! Johannes had found the civet walking about in broad daylight, and I managed to arrive in time to see it before it disappeared. It appeared to be limping, but it was still special to see a civet in the day. Andrew also got lucky and saw two honey badgers also in broad day light which was also a real treat. Down south, on Vielmeter, the large herd of buffalo was seen feeding to the north towards Makulu dam, and Palence found a large breeding herd of elephants near Hide dam. Things were rather quiet on the lion and leopard front, although we did have tracks for the three Mahlathini males heading north towards Ingwelala.
The afternoon was a bit better. There was a nice herd of about 15-20 elephants drinking and feeding near Concrete crossing, and while watching them, another guide found Kuhanya female leopard not 300m away near Peru dam wall. I left the elephants and went to see this stunningly beautiful leopard as she spotted some impala, and although she moved in their direction, she soon lost interest and went and lay on top a termite mound in some nice afternoon light and spent the next while posing perfectly for all the guests! She is quickly becoming my favourite leopard to photograph, and I am sure you can all see why!
After that sighting I just took it easy in the north, we watched some hippos and birds at Peru dam, a large troop of baboons and impala feeding north of Klipdrift crossing, had a gorgeous sundowner watching the sunset on our one side and the full moon rising on the other – a magical African moment! After dinner I just bumbled about, and got lucky in spotting a relatively rare white-tailed mongoose, and Andrew also spotted one himself after dark. Heading back to camp we came across two buffalo bulls heading towards Buffalo pan, and then just at the camp, we found an extremely rare and elusive serval! It is a member of the cat family that superficially resembles a cheetah due to its tall, slender build and spotted coat, but is a masterful rodent hunter with exceptional hearing. It sat on the road watching us for a few seconds before it wandered into the bush and disappeared. It is the first serval I have seen in probably 10 months, so I was rather chuffed; although I was disappointed that I couldn’t get my camera in time to take a picture – I will have to wait until next time!!!