Friday, 11 March 2011

10th March – So that is what lions look like!

Photo of the Day
Johannes's shot of the new Machaton Cubs!
Morning Drive
(Elliot, Marka and Johannes)
12 x lions (Machaton Pride – 3 x lionesses and 9 x cubs on a buffalo kill) – Umlani, Marco’s Dam
1 x breeding herd of buffalo – Karans, Kudu Pan Clearing
1 x breeding herd of elephant – DeLuca, Mpela-pela Pan
2 x elephant bulls – Karans, Majambi Dam
1 x elephant bull – Rockfig, Eloff

Afternoon Drive
(Johannes and Marka)
1 x leopard (Kuhanya female with warthog kill) – Motswari, Xinatsi Dam Rd North
1 x breeding herd of buffalo – Scholtz, Kudu Pan
1 x buffalo bull – Argyle, Crossing below Vyeboom
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Argyle, Crossing Below Vyeboom Dam
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Motswari, Southern Access
1 x elephant bull – Argyle, Argyle Rd

Daily Synopsis
So, after a few days of struggling for lions, the guests and guides were rewarded with a stunning sighting so the Machaton lions, albeit right on our extreme southern boundary after an invitation by the southern stations!  Marka and Johannes made their way down south to, and were treated to a sighting of the 5 latest additions to the Machaton Pride – the cubs were still extremely small, and probably just over 2-months old.  The pride had killed a buffalo, and the other two lionesses with the other four cubs were also present, but in long grass.
The afternoon started off fantastically, with Marka finding Kuhanya female leopard up a tree with a warthog kill not 500m from the lodge, and the rest of the afternoon was filled with the odd-sighting of buffalo and elephant.  I even went out to have a look at Kuhanya and enjoy a sundowner with Dave, Thea and Leigh.  We stopped in at the leopard on the way back to camp, and sat watching her in the starlight; Thea then asked where the “False Cross” constellation was, to which Dave responded by shining the spotlight into a nearby tree to say “it’s behind there”...Kuhanya took exception to not being the star of the show and jumped up and charged us!  It took me by surprise, but it was great to see that she still reacts to the vehicles!  The relaxed disposition of our leopards often makes it seem as if they are “tame”...Kuhanya’s reaction this evening was proof that she is anything but tame!  We are just spoilt with very well habituated leopards, and it is always encouraging to see that despite this, they still have their boundaries and are not afraid to tell you when you cross it!  Not that we crossed it last night, as we were about 12-15m from her when she charged; but we heeded her warnings and headed back to camp for a well deserved beer!
Grey Heron's at Argyle Dam for Sunset!
Something to look forward to in the morning though!


  1. Thanks for the update Chad,
    Great photos once again.
    Glad to see some lions, cubs are always cute and good entertainment.


  2. Very nice pictures with grey herons.

    Beautiful light.

    Thank you