Wednesday, 22 December 2010

21st December: Winters Morning!

Picture of the Day.

Morning Drive.

Lion: 3 x Mahlatini's / Argyle – Great North Rd.
Leopard: Kuhanya / Motswari – Motswari Southern Access.
Elephant: 3 x Kambaku's + A Female & Calf / Java – Peter Pan Access.
Elephant: 1x Kambaku / Mbali – Western Cutline.

Afternoon Drive.

Buffalo: 4 x Dagha Boys / Peru – Xinzele Road.
Lion: 3 x Maghlatini's / Argyle – Great North Road.
Elephant: 1 x Kambaku / Peru – Argyle Road.
Lion: 5 x White Lions / Vielmieter – Elephant Dam.
Buffalo: 1 x breeding herd / Motswari - Camp Waterhole
Daily Synopsis.

Waking to a clear blue sky and a golden sun rising in the East, one was lead to believe it was going to be a typically hot Lowveld day. Well, think again, it resembled more of a Highveld winters day, with a crisp chill in the air it had everyone reaching for their jackets shortly after setting off on morning drive. Herald and Chad's group had chosen a good morning to lie in, leaving myself and Elliot to battle the elements, and motivation to make them regret their decision. This did not take long as Elliot found Kuhanya sitting in a Marula Tree less than five hundred metres from camp, typical leopard style!  

It's been a fair while since seeing her and a visit was long overdue. Looking at her swollen belly and her laboured breathing she must have recently fed and is looking in great condition, think it may have a lot to do with the arrival of the young Impala. Being Chad's favourite I knew we had already found a reason to make him regret his little lie in.

The rest of the morning was filled with general game, including a nice herd of +/- fifteen Giraffe on Motswari Airstrip, a family of warthog, including this seasons youngsters which are always a treat to watch as they run around giddily chasing their own tails.


(and just because Grant thinks I missed out...this is what i saw of Kuhanya yesterday after breakfast!  Johannes had relocated her sleeping up a leadwood tree near the airstrip, so I went out with Leigh, and Grant, and went and spent 40 minutes or so with her.  She eventually climbed down the tree and set off scent marking - a great sign that she is making the area around the lodge her own!  We left her after she spotted a herd of impala and began stalking them)

Something a little out of the ordinary was our Elephant sighting, we responded to what we thought was a Breeding Herd only to find on arrival that it was four large Males, a female and her calf. It was the same female and calf we had found the previous day alone, they appear to have lost their herd and have now sought the protection of these Males who seem quite unperturbed by their presence.

The afternoon started off a tad warmer for myself and Elliot, although the clouds did block the full effect of the suns rays. I tried my luck at relocating Kuhanya as she was last seen stalking some Impala earlier that afternoon, unfortunately with no joy for myself and apparently for her either. Elliot headed South as the White Lions were found late on morning drive and he was keen to try relocate. I turned to the West to go visit the Mahlatini's who were sound asleep on our Northern border. Along the way I ran into four Dagha boys looking the worse for wear, they appeared to be sleeping off the ill effects of a night out in the bush in a mud wallow alongside the road. Needless to say the chirps came fast and furious and provided that afternoons and dinners entertainment, as my guests morphed the thoughts and feelings of these grumpy beasts.

Arriving at the Maghlatini's they too looked as if they may have been at the same event as the Buffalo and barely lifted their heads at our approach, so hearing that they had relocated the White Lions at Elephant Dam we decided to head in their direction.

We timed our arrival to almost perfection as the sun slipped out from behind the clouds bathing us all in the golden rays of sunset. It made for great photography as the Lions were out in the open and sitting up going about their evening grooming.

As the sun set the chill returned and jackets were once again reached for, I took this as my cue to return to Motswari, which in turn held it's own surprise. During dinners pick up we could hear a rustling and splashing coming from the riverbed out front of the lodge. We made our way to the pool area as we have a floodlight over the riverbed, where we discovered a massive herd of Buffalo slowly feeding and drinking along the opposite river bank. This brought about the end of another rough day in paradise! Lets see what tomorrow holds in store!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the daily updates, some great sightings.
    Chad, your leopard shots are amazing.

    Keep up the good work you 2.