Thursday, 10 February 2011

9th February – Surprising Staff Bumble

Photo of the Day

Morning Drive
No Big 5

Afternoon Drive
(Staff Drive – No Guests in camp)
2 x lions (Jacaranda Males) – Buchner, Camp Dam
1 x white rhino – Buchner
1 x breeding herd of elephant – Motswari, Motswari Northern Access

Daily Synopsis
This morning was my last drive with guests for a few days, and while it didn’t end on the massive high I had been hoping for (i.e. the return of the White Lions of the Timbavati), despite our lack of big game sightings it was still an enjoyable morning.
The reserve was once again very quiet with only myself and one other vehicle out in the north, and as he went south, I was all alone!  Just driving around we found some nice kudu, impala, hippo, crocodiles and giraffe.
Lilac-breasted Roller

Kudu cow
I checked around the north for any sign of the white lions returning, but there was nothing, so I conceded defeat and went east to look for some zebras for my guests as they had yet to see them.  Luckily we found a herd right where I was hoping to, at Kudu Pan and watched them drinking amongst a big bachelor herd of impalas that were all showing signs of the pre-rutting season and many engaged in playful fights.

With no guests in camp for the afternoon, a few of us decided to take a little staff drive into the remote north-eastern corner of the reserve where there is a little koppie (rocky outcrop) where we wanted to go and enjoy a nice sundowner.
As it was not a proper game drive, I wasn’t really expecting to see much, and to be honest we didn’t even see an impala on our way there, but on arriving at the property, we were pleasantly surprised to find the two large Jacaranda Pride male lions lying at the camp dam!  They were looking extremely well fed and uncomfortably fat, indicating that they had enjoyed a good meal over the last two days since they were near the camp (but they were now over 10km away from where they had been then).  I did find it quite ironic that the last time I drove on this property, 14 months ago when we also did a staff drive, we had the same two male lions in the exact same spot; guess now I know where we need to come to see lions!

Jacaranda males at Buchner dam
We carried on driving around on the property and were totally amazed at the waterholes that had filled up with the rain – it transformed the area totally and its beauty really jumped out and moved it up many notches in hierarchy of favourite properties!  There were a lot of animal tracks around, and the scenery was just fantastic.

As we drove along one of the drainage line we came across a waterhole, and I commented on the fact that if you spent and afternoon here, you would almost certainly see rhino; we drove 20m forward and there standing at the waterhole was a massive white rhino bull. 
We spent some nice time with him before heading through the stunted and open mopane veld before arriving at the little rocky outcrop just in time to enjoy the sun going down on another Amazing African Landscape; to top it all off, the two male lions started roaring about 2km away, making for a very special moment.

Leigh, Thea, Dave and Grant all admiring the view...or actually, all admiring me for some reason?
Heading back to the lodge, Dave enjoyed many spiders whacking into his face, a lot of nightjars and coursers, and a breeding herd of elephant 200m from the lodge.  It ended another ‘tough’ day in Africa!
Grant will be back on drive tomorrow with some new guests, and I am sure he will be excited to know that the last sign of the white lions saw them heading straight south-east towards we are hoping for some great news, but we shall just have to wait and see what tomorrow brings for us!


  1. Reading your blog and seeing the amazing photos really is like being there.

    The Lilac Breasted Roller is my favourite bird - a fantastic photo, and the Kudu cow face on is beautiful.

    Thanks Chad another great update.

  2. AS Laikipia the way you descibe the drive, really does give you the feel of traveling along with you. Boy that looks one Big Rhino. Fingers X the White Lions will arrive soon

  3. ...sheer magnificent! Happy for Grant as the white lions are his absolute favorite, right :-)
    Enjoy! I would love to be at Motswari in these days - as I'm not, I'm able to immerse into the bush for the little time reading the blog. Thanks again for fascinating pictures and great updates!