|Pic of the Day.|
Wild Dogs ( 9 x pack) / Vielmieter – Vielmieter Access.
Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Java – Western Cutline.
Lion ( 2 x Jacaranda Males) / Wisani – Wisani Trough Road.
Lion ( 2 x Jacaranda Males) / Wisani – Wisani Trough.
Lion ( Jacaranda Four) / Motswari – Motswari Airstrip.
Elephant ( Kambaku) / Karans – Western Cutline.
Leopard ( Rockfig Jnr & Ntombela) / Vielmieter – Double Highway.
Buffalo ( Breeding Herd) / Peru – Argyle Road.
After the excitement of the evening before where we narrowly missed out on the Wild Dogs chasing after Buffalo and then finding two large male Lions a stones throw away from Motswari feeding on a Buffalo, the following morning held a whole lot of promise. Heading out, we planned to follow up on the Lions, because if truth be told the visual from the night before was very very poor, some might use the words, barely visible, as they had killed it in a thicket of Purple Pod Cluster Leaves. It was more for the thrill of sitting in the dark hearing the Lions feeding and knowing they were so close to camp than the visual experience. As is with all good plans and intentions one must anticipate change as this morning would quickly prove. No sooner had we got mobile we received the news that the Wild Dog had been located in the South, a temptation too big to pass up. Knowing their behaviour Johannes and I knew to well that they are notoriously difficult to keep up with, especially if they were on the hunt, as was the case this morning, yet the risk was certainly worth the reward and we both turned South without a second thought. On our way there the guys were struggling to keep up with them and lost them on a number of occasions through some very thick areas as they chased after a variety of prey, but on each occasion did a great job on relocating them, so that we may all get a chance to view them. Moments before arriving at the sight we got a lucky break as the pack caught a young Impala, at the rate that Wild Dog feed we would not witness this spectacular but at least it would hold them momentarily in one spot. Pulling into the sighting we got to see them finish off the last limbs of the unlucky Impala, one would think they would settle down and allow for digestion to take place, but no sooner had they finished the last morsel they went bounding off to the North West at full speed.
Struggling to keep up we again caught a lucky break as it appeared they had caught another Impala that would keep them anchored for a moment or two, while Johannes made his way to the sighting. On Johannes arrival he noticed Leopard tracks and a drag mark very close to us, it would appear that the Wild Dog had in fact stumbled across the kill and dispossessed the unfortunate Leopard of breakfast. This could also explain how they managed to consume it so quickly.
Leaving Johannes with them we headed off West wanting to check if the White Lions may have returned. Later that morning we received news that Rockfig Jnr and Ntombela were found not far from where the Wild Dog were. Not getting as lucky with the White Lions we turned our attention to the two males near Motswari. Arriving at the sight, not much had changed from the night before, except the Buffalo was now nearly finished and the Lions had taken to resting in the shade of some very thick foliage, allowing a glimpse of an ear, an eye and a tail now and then as it flicked backwards and forwards trying to rid some of the hundreds of flies the carcass had attracted.
|Chad's Sighting of the Jacaranda males after waking up at 5am on his morning off to go and see them!!!|
The afternoon drive started a little late as we received a very welcome rain shower during lunch, which cooled things down a little and brought about a clean freshness to the bush. We again tried our luck with the Lions nearby camp, thinking maybe this time we would see more than a partial body part. Well we thought wrong and things were far worse as they had moved into an even thicker more inaccessible area, leaving us with a view of a tail. During our bush bashing escapades we received news from Marka that he had found Rockfig Jnr and Ntombela, it couldn't have come at a better time, as it provided us with the perfect motive to cut our losses. Hopefully the Leopard sighting would make up for our once again disaapointing Lion sighting. They did not disappoint as we arrived Ntombela was up a Marula Tree and Rockfig Jnr was lying in the grass below, it was not long before she joined her mother below and they got busy with bath time.
This however was interrupted by an inquisitive Hyena looking for an easy meal. After a few deep snarling noises and some vicious hissing from Rockfig Jnr the Hyena thought otherwise and moved off, at which the two Leopards got back to the matter at hand. Once bath time was over and they both felt sufficiently clean they moved off to a nearby Marula where they climbed to the highest branches to take a early evening nap, before the long nights hunting ahead.
We left them at this stage wanting to try our luck in relocating the Wild Dog in the Eastern section of our traversing area. Having as much luck as with the Lions earlier we headed for home. Again our disappointment was short lived as Chad called in that he had found the Jacaranda Four very close to Motswari. That now made two different prides of Lion within a kilometres radius of the camp, one on the North East and the other on the South West. While sitting with the Jacaranda Four we could hear the other two males roaring to one another as they got mobile North, this had our Lions attention and it was not long before they got up and started to head in the opposite direction not wanting to encounter their more mature counterparts. We took this as our cue to head back home and to wrap up another wonderful days sightings.