Tuesday, 4 January 2011

3rd January - Rockfig and Thumbela Reunited

Photo of the Day
Rockfig Jnr and Thumbela

Morning Drive
5 x lions (Xakubasa Pride) – Vielmetter, Dizzy Drive
1 x breeding herd of buffalo – Jaydee, Nkombi Pan
4 x buffalo – Argyle, Great North
1 x buffalo bull – Argyle, Lover’s Leap
1 x breeding herd of elephant – Mbali, Mvubu Crossing
3 x elephant bulls, - Argyle, Argyle Rd

Afternoon Drive
5 x lions (Xakubasa Pride) – Kings, Luxons Rd
2 x leopards (Rockfig Jnr and Thumbela females) – Tanda Tula, Ridge Link
1 x breeding herd of elephant – Karans, Majumbi Dam
1 x breeding herd of elephant – Argyle, Great North
3 x elephant bulls – Karans, Mbandzu Rd
1 x breeding herd of buffalo – Motswari, Motswari-Ingwelala Cutline
4 x buffalo bulls – Argyle, Lover’s Leap

Daily Synopsis
Yet again, the day started off pleasantly cloudy and mild, and allowed for good game viewing.  I took it easy up in the north and had pretty nice general game sightings of kudu, waterbuck, impala, hippo, giraffe, zebra, buffalo and a nice small breeding herd of elephant at the water below Mbali Dam and a lot of nice birds. 
Waterbuck on Piva Plains
breeding herd of elephant below Mbali Dam

Woodland Kingfisher

Saddle-billed stork

Godfrey and Elliot went down to Nkombi Pan to see a large breeding herd of buffalo in that area, and there were another couple of buffalo sightings around the reserve. 
Marka was the only guide to find some cats after he relocated the white lions slowly making their way back down towards Hide Dam!  He spent some time following them before they settled down to rest some distance south of Hide Dam.
After a very hot afternoon, we headed out for the drive, and were informed that a pack of wild dogs had been seen late in the morning about 3km north of the lodge, but running into Ingwelala, the neighbouring reserve.  Elliot and I checked the ‘wedge’ north of the camp, but the pack didn’t cross over – we are still hopeful they will do so tomorrow; but it’s just great to know they are in the still in the area!
There were a few buffalo around in the waterholes, resting up to keep cool as the rain clouds gathered and the day started to cool.  Johannes had a nice breeding herd of elephants drinking at Majumbi Dam, and Godfrey also had another breeding herd of elephants on the western boundary.

Buffalo bulls cooling off below Lover's Leap
I was up north, but decided to make an exceptionally long trip way south after I heard of a sighting of Rockfig Jnr and Thumbela together that the southern lodges kindly invited us too.  It was far.  Very far.  And it was a quiet trip, so I was really wondering if I had made the right choice, but when we eventually got to see the two of them ambling down the road together, it made it all worth it!  I haven’t had much chance to see them together, having missed out on 2010 and all, but it was special to see them interacting.  Eventually they spotted a herd of impala and both ran into positions to start stalking them.  However, the open terrain, the fact it was getting late and we were far from camp and I guess the fact it was now starting to pour with rain, meant we had to leave them and head home as the heavens opened and bucket down on us!

Rockfig Jnr and Thumbela
Despite our clothes being dampened, our spirits were not, and we headed to a much drier northern section, and back to the lodge for a great dinner in the boma under a clear, starry-night!

1 comment:

  1. WHAT A SUPERB SHOT for photo of the day.
    Eish Chad, your pin-sharp pics give me serious lens-envy!