Sunday, 19 December 2010

18th December – Jacaranda Pride Still Around

Photo of the Day
Jacaranda Lioness giving me the beady eye
Morning Drive
4 x lions (Jacaranda Pride – 1 lioness, 2 young males, 1 young female) – Peru, Pagati Rd
1 x elephant bull – Java, Peter Pan Access
2 x elephant bulls – Argyle, Argyle Rd
1 x elephant bull – Ingwelala, Argyle Rd

Afternoon Drive
4 x lions (Jacaranda Pride – 1 lioness, 2 young males, 1 young female) – Peru, Woza-Woza Cutline
1 x leopard (Shongile female) – Motswari, Xinatsi Dam Rd North
2 x buffalo females – Argyle, Long Rd
4 x buffalo bulls – Argyle, Mfene Crossing
3 x buffalo bulls – Peru, Tawny Eagle Rd
2 x elephant bulls – Mbali, Garage Rd
4 x elephant bulls – Argyle, Old Mpisi Khaya Rd
1 x elephant bull – Motswari, Camp Area

Daily Synopsis
Saturday was a cooler and cloudier day, but started off a bit quietly.  There was some nice general game about in the form of hippos, giraffe, zebra, waterbuck and impala, but the bigger game eluded us.  Chad spent a good part of the morning checking the area where the Jacaranda Pride had last been seen yesterday, and on seeing no tracks crossing north off the property, he continued looking.  Eventually he and Elliot worked together to locate them sleeping just off the road a few kilometres south of where they had been yesterday.  While they did little else besides sleep, it is encouraging to see them spending time in the area; it is the fourth day in a row that the Motswari guides and trackers have tracked them down.
Young Jacaranda Male

There were tracks for the Xakubasa Pride in the south, but the southern stations didn’t have any luck relocating them in the morning, and while Grant checked the area in the afternoon, there was no luck.
In the afternoon, things started off very well with Herald finding Shongile female leopard not 2 minutes from camp.  She was very relaxed this afternoon, and we miraculously managed to follow her as she crossed through a couple of difficult drainage lines and relocated her as she made her way towards our airstrip.  All of the Motswari guides got to see her before she was eventually left making her way towards the clearing in front of the lodge. 
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Shongile female leopard - great start to a drive
The Jacaranda Pride were found resting in the same place and got mobile early in the afternoon, but only for a couple of hundred metres before once more settling down to rest on a relatively cool afternoon.
Jacaranda Pride
Elsewhere, there were two separate sightings of groups of elephant bulls feeding on the lush summer vegetation, and three different groups of buffalo bulls were found in the north.  One of these was a group of two young buffalo that have somehow managed to get separated from a breeding herd and are now living on their own, but from their wounds and lost tails, it appears that it has not been an easy time for them over the last two weeks, and we wonder how long they will be able to survive without the protection of a herd.
Giraffe and Zebras
The day ended off wonderfully for all of the guests when they were treated to a magical dinner in the bush under the vast African sky! 

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