Thursday, 27 January 2011

26th January: Breakfast at Motswari's.

Pic of the Day.

Morning Drive.

Leopard ( Kuhanya) / Motswari – Motswari Car Park.
Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Argyle – Flooded Crossing.
Buffalo ( Dagha Boy)

Afternoon Drive.

Leopard ( Shogile) / Motswari – Motswari Northern Access.
Elephant ( Kambaku) / Argyle – Argyle Dam East.
Elephant ( Kambaku) / Argyle – Argyle Dam West.
Elephant ( Kambaku) / Vielmieter – Double Highway.
Elephant (Kambaku) / Vielmieter - 1st Tsharalumi Crossing.
Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Mbali – Garage Rd.
Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Mbali – Buffalo Kill Rd.
Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Peru – Tawny Eagle.
Lion ( Machaton Cubs) / Umlani – Donga Lookout.
Lion ( Machaton Female) / Umlani – Donga Drive.
Wild Dog ( 9 x Pack) / Argyle Rd.

Daily Synopsis.

I like it when I'm right, mainly because it doesn't happen that often! As if to prove my point about being Motswari's resident Leopard, Kuhanya decided to dine in camp, I did warn those resident Impala. We arrived for morning coffee where John informed us that he had found a drag mark literally at the entrance to reception. While we were busy finishing up coffee, Petros and Tiyani followed up on the drag mark. They did not have to look far, as they found Kuhanya resting in the parking lot, not a bad way to start the morning. We however did not find the kill until later when we were following her back towards reception, she seemed a little hesitant and kept sniffing about the place. We first found the area where the animal had been disembowelled and then following the drag marks she detoured round reception and walked behind the chalet Elephant, where we could see the remains of the animal hanging in a Marula Tree. Kuhanya did not approach the kill and instead headed of to the South East away from it. This led us to believe that another Leopard was in the area and that one of them had stolen it from the other. This theory was soon confirmed whilst viewing Kuhanya some distance off, the kill was mysteriously removed from the tree and drag marks were found leading off into a drainage line of very thick vegetation that the trackers could not follow into. It's great to see that the Leopard population around Motswari is thriving.

The rest of my morning was very quite and I should have perhaps stayed around camp driving the reception loop, I think I would have had more success. We did pick up on some Rhino tracks very late in the morning, but being a very difficult area to track, the going was slow and we eventually ran out of time, typical. Johannes had himself a moderate morning, maybe quite by his high standards, but he did have a nice small breeding herd of Elephant near camp in the picturesque setting of Lovers Leap. With a few more vehicles out this afternoon lets hope we can pick up those sightings.

Again the lack of Lion in the North has become our Achilles heal and it finds us having to travel very long distances to view them. Johannes and my guests were on their final evening and had still not seen Lion, although we had searched all corners of the North, to no avail. So, once again, Umlani came to our rescue with the Machaton Cubs sitting in the riverbed where we had seen them a couple of days before.  

There were no parents present but apparently one of the females was on the bank hidden in the thick vegetation. Fortunately we found another on our way out, she was walking down the road uttering a soft contact call trying to get the attention of her fellow pride members.

Our timing on this trip had been good, as they had also located the nine Wild Dog that have been in the Southern regions for the last couple of days, on the tar road. We took a chance in visiting them, as it was a long way to go and should they move off the tar road we would not be able to follow them as they were located beyond all of our traversing areas. Luckily for us they stuck to Wild Dog habit and used the road in their journey South, enabling us to catch up with, and spend some time with them, before having to turn around and remember where home was!

Not facing the same pressures, yet............, Chad and Herald stayed in the North having quite an eventful afternoon themselves. You can ask Chad yourselves for in depth details on his afternoon, but to say, you apparently don't need sand, water or a combination of the two, to get a Land Rover stuck. The two of them spent some time with a nice herd of Elephant before heading off to look for Leopard. Which they were successful in finding! Shongile this time, and you will never guess where? If you said Motswari, ten points for you! If you said Motswari Northern Access junction Reception Road you would get yourself a bonus point. You have to love the Leopard activity around camp at the moment, and I say, “ at the moment”, as we all know that can change overnight! So tomorrows task is to find that prehistoric looking beast with the two horns, I think they call it a Rhino, it has been sometime now so I get forgetful, but as I said, “ it can change overnight!”

No comments:

Post a Comment