Monday, 31 January 2011

30th January – Motswari Zebra Hungry Lions Reunite

Photo of the Day
Elliot moves in to try and tackle Tiani

Morning Drive
9 x wild dogs – Rockfig, Rockfig Airstrip
1 x leopard (Nthombi) – Vielmetter, Martin’s Rd
1 x elephant bull – Vielmetter, Sweetwater

Afternoon Drive
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Motswari, Xinatsi Dam Rd North

Daily Synopsis
So I am back from leave, and back on drive for a few days, so looking forward to getting out there again!  My first few days back at Motswari after leave were good, and once again I as astounded about the number of leopards moving around the camp!  Within a couple of days, the guides saw Argyle male, Kuhanya female, Shongile female and Argyle Jnr female within a couple hundred metres of the lodge!  Most mornings, either John reported having seen leopard in camp, or there were fresh tracks for one of the leopards walking along the pathways in camp!  However, the lions remained elusive, with only the Machaton Pride in the far south providing regular sightings for those prepared to travel that far.
Shongile near the soccer field a few days ago!
Lions of a different sort made a reappearance this week, and that came in the form of the Motswari Zebra Hungry Lion Football team!  With the lodge being relatively quiet, we cleared the soccer field and decided to have a bit of a kick around with the staff and a couple of guests that were staying at the lodge, and it was great to see the camaraderie amongst the staff, as well as get our bodies moving again!  I would just like to point out that my team beat Grant’s team...hahaha!
Dave ...forgetting his surname isnt Beckham

Steven, one of the guests that joined us

Tiani "Maradonna" Mashele

Elliot going after Tiani again...

Tiani 1 - 1 Elliot

Dave trying another long range effort

Sinah scoring a penalty

The wonderful colours of Africa!
Back to the game drives though!
Sunday was a bit of a quiet one, with only Herald out in the morning.  He had, like the football match, a drive of ‘two-halves’!  The first was clearly more a scenic drive, as the animals did not play along very well, with the odd impala and giraffe showing themselves.  The latter half was far more productive, with Nthombi being found sleeping up in a marula tree near Sweetwater Pan, an elephant bull at Sweetwater Pan, and a pack of 9 wild dogs being found even further south on Rockfig property.
I joined in the afternoon, but also experienced a bit of a quiet drive.  I didn’t want to go racing down south for my guests first drive, so I took it easy in the north, and had some fair general game sightings, with impala, warthog, giraffe and hippo being seen and admired, before Herald and I got to spend some nice time with a breeding herd of elephants near the lodge.

Johannes and Elliot had reported seeing a lot of vultures during their bushwork, so Herald followed up and we left our trackers to go in and find out what had died, but sadly the dead kudu that they located was one that died of natural causes as there were no signs of any predators having killed it or fed on it.
I had been hoping more would come of that, but it was not to be.  Some good news for the afternoon was that a kill of Nthombi’s had been found near Steep Nhlaralumi, and there were tracks for her moving south to fetch her cub, and then tracks for the two of them heading back.  Although neither were seen, there is a good chance they will be around tomorrow, so that is something to look forward to!

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