Saturday, 5 February 2011

4th February – Mahlathini’s with a Buffalo Kill!

Photo of the Day
Kuhanya female

Morning Drive
3 x lions (Mahlathini males with buffalo kill) – Peru, Jakkalsdraai Rd
1 x leopard (Argyle Jnr female) – Motswari, Motswari Airstrip
1 x elephant bull – Motswari, Ekevukeni Rd
1 x elephant bull – Argyle, Argyle Rd
1 x buffalo bull – Argyle, Argyle Rd

Afternoon Drive
(Chad and Elliot)
1 x leopard (Kuhanya female) – Argyle, Argyle Dam
1 x breeding herd of elephant – Motswari, Xinatsi Dam Link
1 x elephant bull – Motswari, Wisani Rd

Daily Synopsis
Elliot was out on his own in the morning, but did a good enough job by the sounds of things!  He spent some of the morning looking for the Jacaranda Pride around Motswari, and saw that they had collected their cubs and seemingly headed north to Ingwelala, but with tracks going up and down over most of the area, it was difficult to determine exactly what happened and where they went, so he had no luck, and then after the 5mm of rain we got min-morning, all the fresh tracks were ruined!
Elliot took shelter in the hanger on the airstrip for a cup of coffee, and stayed relatively dry!  After that, the leopard hot-spot of the Timbavati struck again as Elliot spotted Argyle Jnr sleeping up in a marula tree on the southern end of the airstrip! 
Elliot then headed towards Voel Dam where the three Mahlathini males had been found feeding ona  small buffalo that they had killed in the early hours of the morning, and the herd of buffalo were not too far away at Hyena Pan.  After a good viewing of them, Elliot headed home along Argyle Rd and ticked off some elephant bulls and a buffalo bull.  Giyani also found two rhino’s in the north in the morning for his Java guests (and another relaxed one in the evening when he went all the way to the remote north-eastern corner of the Umbabat).
I joined for the afternoon drive, and it was a fair start back to business for me.  I was banking on the lions in the north west, but as seems to be usual for the Mahlathinis lately, after having finished the kill during the morning, they upped and left straight back into the Klaserie, so there was to be no sighting of them for me in the afternoon.  Instead I drove around close to the lodge looking for whatever I could find, and true to recent form, I found stuff!
It started out with a nice relaxed breeding herd of elephants a few minutes from camp, that we spent some good time with. 

Following that we got a hippo, lots of impalas and a small herd of waterbuck on our airstrip.  The leopard from the morning had moved off, so I went to see if Argyle Male was still at his kill, but he had finished it and moved off, after the rain, so we knew he wasn’t far.  I went to check Argyle Dam, where his tracks were heading and while watching some hippos there, I spotted a leopard on the dam wall, but it wasn’t Argyle Male, it was his daughter, Kuhanya!  We spent some good time with her as she rested on the wall right by the vehicle before we went to check to see if the lions would come back. 

Kuhanya on Argyle Dam wall

There were a few giraffe and more impalas, but not a great deal else besides some nice birds and more hippo!

It was still an enjoyable afternoon, but a bit concerning that all the lions moved off the property again; we just hope they don’t take too long to return!


  1. nice stuff!! things are looking so green and healthy out there! x

  2. What is the bird flying above the waterbuck Chad?


  3. thanks ms bergs...glad to see you working hard and not messing around reading stuff on the internet =P

    @SM - that bird isa european swallow - there are plenty around at the moment, all fattening up before their long trip back north!