Sunday, 23 January 2011

22nd January:Murphy's Luck or is it Murphy's Law.

Pic of the Day.

Morning Drive.

Elephant ( Kambaku) / Karans – Old Closed Rd.
Elephant ( 2 x Kambaku's) / Scholtz – Jackal Pan.

Afternoon Drive.

Elephant ( Kambaku) / Motswari – Xinatsi Dam.
Elephant ( 6 x Kambaku's) / Argyle – Argyle Dam.
Elephant ( Kambaku) / Argyle – Klipdrift Crossing.
Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Argyle – Rudi's Rd.
Leopard ( Kuhanya) / Motswari – Motswari Airstrip.

Daily Synopsis.

Well we thought it couldn't get quieter than yesterday, but maybe we shouldn't have voiced it like we did before drive. Petros and I discussed our planned route for the morning and agreed it was almost impossible to go without seeing something. Two and half hours into it, we faced that exact possibility. We had decided to concentrate on the East as we had checked the West the previous evening, and there were already two other vehicles out checking in the morning, which by the way were having as much luck as we had the evening before. Following up on Lion calls that John, our night watchman, had heard around five, we scoured the North East to no avail. Broadening our search we headed South in the hope of picking up a vagrant Rhino from Kruger or perhaps a Elephant or two, as the area is notorious for it's thick Mopane, a favourite of the Elephant. Not sure if it's Murphy's Luck or Luck of the Irish yet, as the jury is still out, but we stumbled across tracks for Male Lions, more than likely the Sohobele's. As is usual this occurred towards the end of drive not leaving us much time to track. The tracks were also from early the previous evening leaving us with a lot to catch up in a very difficult area to track. As is the the norm in this situation we would now start finding animals that would distract us from our objective. It's pretty difficult to ignore them after not having seen anything at all. So we took a time out to spend with two different herds of Zebra grazing out in the “plains”, a unusual sighting for us. During this we also saw something that both Petros and myself have never seen before, but it has been reported on before. Two young Impala feeding from one mother, signifying they are twins. It's amazing what you get to see if you just take the time to stop and observe.

Moving on, we continued to track our Lions but were running out of time and we finally abandoned the tracks for later when we came across fresh tracks for a herd of Elephant, talk about suffering from ADD. It however appears to have been the right decision as we caught up with two Kambaku's giving themselves a mud bath in Jackal Pan. The Breeding herd had visited the Pan but continued on South, as we had now run out of time we could not continue to follow up on them, so we settled with our Kambaku's and spent a little extra time enjoying their antics. We hope to get lucky with our Lion tracks this afternoon, and as I write this Petros, Herald and Difference are out during their afternoon break following up on them, true dedication.

Before setting off on afternoon drive I had to break the bad news that we were unable to catch up on our Lion tracks as they had moved off over the boundary and out of our traversing area,. It appears it was the two females from the Jacaranda Pride again, and not the Sohobele's as previously thought. Not exactly the way I had envisaged the afternoon starting off. Being rather a scorcher we decided to stick to the water for the first part of the afternoon, which paid off rather nicely as we found Elephant at every dam we visited.

They were mostly Kambaku's trying to beat off the heat by either swimming, drinking or giving themselves a mud bath, which provided for a full afternoons entertainment. We were also fortunate enough to catch up with a breeding herd, unfortunately they were very spread out feeding in an area of very thick vegetation, so the visuals were somewhat poor by our standards. After our “Ele Avie” we decided to head to the South East for sundowners at Scholtz Big Dam.  

Wrapping up drinks to the Hippo's calling and the sun painting the sky golden yellow we headed for home quite content. A surprise waited in store though, no sooner had we got mobile I received a message from Arend informing me that he had found Kuhanya on Motswari Airstrip while dropping something off at the lodge. He very kindly offered to hold her as we made our way from one of the furtherest points we could possibly be away. Nearing the sighting some Hyena arrived on the scene and chased her, severely reducing our chances of seeing her, now that would be Murphy's Law! She avoided them and we found her on the airstrip but no sooner had we joined the sighting another Hyena joined in on the chase, this time treeing her, Irish Luck! We spent some time with her as she casually ignored the Hyena below and went about surveying her domain, looking for dinner.  

Feeling rather peckish ourselves we retired to the lodge a mere kilometre away. So it looks like things are picking up, but I'll hold off full judgement for at least the next couple of days. The White Lions in the morning would go a long way in restoring the faith.

1 comment:

  1. i am hoping that the last line of your blog post is a precursor of what is to be posted tomorrow!!!

    and again, proof that the best place to currently see leopards in the timbavati is on motswari's airstrip! long may it last!!!