Friday, 25 March 2011

24th March – Empty Promises

Photo of the Day
Dagga boy wallowing behind the lodge

Morning Drive
(Elliot, Chad and Grant)
1 x leopard (Kuhanya female) – Motswari, Trade Entrance Pan
1 x leopard (unidentified leopard on bush walk) – Motswari, Wisani Trough
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Motswari, Camp Dam
1 x elephant bull – Argyle, Argyle Rd
2 x buffalo – Motswari, Wisani Crossing

Afternoon Drive
(Marka, Chad, Johannes and Elliot)
1 x breeding herd of elephant – Argyle, Piva Plains
2 x elephant bulls – Motswari, Bush Braai Rd
1 x elephant bull – Argyle, Piva Plains
1 x elephant bull – Motswari, Airstrip
1 x elephant bull – Motswari, Camp Dam
1 x elephant bull – Karans, Airstrip
1 x buffalo bull – Motswari, Elephant Mudwallow
1 x buffalo bull – Motswari, Wedge River Rd
1 x buffalo bull – Motswari, Below Dam Wall
1 x buffalo bull – Argyle, Crossing Below Argyle Dam
1 x buffalo bull – Peru, Flooded Crossing

Daily Synopsis
Today was an extremely hot day, and as the clouds built up in the afternoon, there was a promise of a big storm that just did not materialise over the northern part of the reserve, except in the small area that I happened to be operating in at the time that the storm broke; my guests and I got absolutely soaked – yet it was the most refreshing feeling after a long, hot day!  That was sadly not the only promise that remained unfulfilled; reports of the Mahlathini male lions at Scholtz Big Dam only led to tracks crossing off the property, and Kuhanya female leopards presence in camp during the middle of the day didn’t lead to any sightings of her on drive; despite this, the larger herbivores were out in force in the afternoon around the waterholes!
The morning started with a breeding herd of elephants arriving to drink in front of camp as we were having our early morning coffee, but after that, the morning remained all to quiet, and our trackers could not manage to locate Kuhanya leopardess after she had been seen stalking a buffalo in front of the lodge at about 3am by our night-watchman. 

Elephant herd in front of the lodge (click on the panaramic photo for a full size image)
Elliot did however get to see Kuhanya just as he was about to close down at camp when she was found near Trade Entrance Pan, and went static about 80m from my house!
Despite the heat, some of my guests wanted a bush walk, so I obliged and actually had a good one – a 1.3m long boomslang snake, nice kudu bulls, and I even got a brief sighting of a leopard running away from Wisani Trough as we approached; unfortunately we couldn’t relocate it.
European Roller
The afternoon proved frustrating for me and my mission to find a leopard.  Not only was there no sign of Kuhanya, but as I was on my way towards where an impala kill for a young male leopard had been found (but no leopard was present), the heavens opened and that put pay to that idea!
Despite that, there were many lone buffalo bulls about, as well as a good number of elephants.  To this, we also saw nyala, impala, kudu, waterbuck and zebra.

Buffalo bull; elephant bull; breeding herd of elephants; another buffalo bull and some zebra's photographed today
So while it was a quiet day for predators, here is to hoping that tomorrow picks up!

1 comment:

  1. Great photo of the day Chad.
    Thanks for the update. Great buffalo and elephant sightings...