I do realise it feels like some time since my last post but when you factor in my weeks leave, it has really only been a week that has gone by. So for those that feel they have been left in the dark, not mentioning any names, Chad, here’s this last weeks update.
So much to tell, it’s where to begin. Returning to drive it appeared that some of our more elusive members over the past few weeks have also made a comeback. Rhino sightings had been a little scarce of late, so much so I was starting to wonder if I would be able to identify one, should we stumble across it. So when the call came in that they had found a male rhino not far from where we were, I quickly responded. While trying to make our way into the area they lost visual of him in some very thick terrain. As he was not one of our regular rhinos, he was a little skittish around the vehicle, and they never easy to keep up with. Being somewhat desperate, we stuck around in the area trying to relocate him. With a little help from Irish luck we stumbled across him. Now being downwind of him, enabled us to approach ever closer, we also found that he was far more settled when the engine was off, so getting into a clearing we killed the engine and sat with him, while he quietly went about his business.
I’ve not quite decided whether it’s the "Luck of the Irish," or being part Irish that I’m made to eat my words, but either way it seems to work for me! A day later, we had literally set out on morning drive, when we spotted a adolescent kudu bull on the side of the road, before I had a chance to break out into my description, another adolescent bull came flying across the road with a cheetah following in hot pursuit. Once again Petros and myself where dumbstruck and at a loss for words. We left the road taking a chance that we could relocate, but after spending some time searching we called it quits and set about trying to relocate the road. On our way out, off in the distance we saw that distinctive shape sitting erect amongst the long grass, turning the car we headed in its direction, all wondering whether it had been successful in its pursuit or not. Unfortunately that question was quickly answered as it stood and started to make its way north, we were however fortunate enough to spend some time following it before the thick bush and long grass conspired against us and we lost it. Guess lightening can strike the same person twice, what a privilege! Now where’s that Pangolin hiding!
Not forgetting our pride and joy, the White Lions. We have been very fortunate of late and have seen them on most drives, although they have proved a little camera shy, hiding in some pretty thick vegetation. This could have something to do with the unseasonably hot weather we are currently experiencing .We found the best time to catch them has been first thing in the morning or a little after sunset when they are either socially interactive with one another or mobile. Lately they have been very playful with even the moms letting down their guard and getting involved in the fun and games. They have not made a big kill recently but have been getting by on smaller prey such as Impala and a small buffalo calf.
Like the White Lions, we were getting to see Rockfig Jnr or her cubs nearly daily. This was partly due to the fact that she made two impala kills during this period that kept them in based in an area, and when not on a kill she was to be found in her other favorite location, one of the dry riverbeds. The cubs are doing extremely well and are as playful as ever, honing their skills for later life, but at the moment it is all fun and games.