Photo of the Day
|Male Waterbuck at Mbali Dam|
(Chad and Herald)
6 x elephants – Karans, Umbabat Cutline
10 x elephants – Motswari, Sean’s Clearing
2 x buffalo bulls – Argyle, Long Rd
1 x buffalo bull – Motswari, Camp
(Chad and Herald)
3 x lions (Mahlathini males) – Vielmetter, Entrance Dam Rd
2 x buffalo bulls – Motswari, Camp
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Vielmetter, Vielmetter Camp
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Java, Peter Pan Access
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Vielmetter, Elephant Dam Rd
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Java, Airstrip
1 x elephant – Java, Java Access
1 x elephant bull – Motswari, Southern Access
Hello again! It seems so long since I last did this that I had to real the Help Menu on how to upload a blog post! I also had to pick up my animal book a few times to help me identify some of the animals I saw the last few days J...and Lile, I am glad I was not the only one that noticed the trend that the animals tend to come out when I am on leave!
Anyway, I am back on drive for the next while, so I shall be keeping you all up to date on the sightings for the next couple of weeks. After arriving back yesterday and heading straight onto drive I enjoyed good sightings of lion, elephant and a brief sighting of leopard last night, so along with Herald I took it easy in the morning.
I checked the Wedge to the north of camp for any sign of the lions that Doctor had heard roaring in the early hours of the morning, but they must have still been on Ingwelala, which didn’t surprise me all that much....well, not as much as the chill in the air did! Wow, I couldn’t believe the change in weather conditions in the last week and a half! Winter is definitely on its way!
Fortunately the chill didn’t stop all the animals. I had a very nice sighting of a herd of giraffes near the camp; it was the largest group of giraffe I have seen for some weeks – amazing how sometimes there are giraffe everywhere, and at other times they all disappear!
After the giraffe, I went to try and assist Herald in tracking Argyle male leopard (one of three leopards whose tracks were around the camp from last night!), but as he walked in every direction, it made tracking all but impossible. We did find some buffalo bulls grazing near Argyle Dam, as well as a lone hippo in Argyle Dam.
After coffee I went to check the east, but besides finding a nice group of elephant bulls and a flock of ground hornbills, there was not much activity in the east. Herald also had a relatively quiet morning.
|Elephant bull (taken 31st March in front of the Lodge)|
My bush walk saw us seeing a lone buffalo bull opposite camp, a family of warthogs as well as the journey of giraffes.
In the afternoon, both Herald and I headed south to see the elephants that had gathered on Vielmetter. In the end, we ticked off four different breeding herds of elephants on Vielmetter and Java, and Johannes had another further north along the Nhlaralumi River; seems like tall the elephants have returned along with the giraffes (of which I saw another few this afternoon).
|One of four breeding herds of elephant this afternoon|
Besides the elephant and some nice impala and warthog, our trip south included a stop off to see the three Mahlathini male lions that had covered some distance since last night. They were sleeping near Entrance Dam and arose to move off just at sunset as we watched them.
|The Mahlathini males - growing big quickly! Look how dark their manes are getting too!|
After that, I headed towards Elephant Dam finding a herd of zebra along the route.
|Nice zebra herd with a foal|
My main purpose for going to Elephant Dam for a drink was in the hope that the unknown pride of eleven lions that has been hanging around of late would turn up there for a drink (as they had been seen in the area in the morning, albeit still very nervous of the vehicles). Although no lions arrive, a breeding herd of elephants did walk past.
I left the dam and headed back to camp, seeing more impala, elephant and a chameleon along the way...then the salt came out. First I heard that Nthombi’s male leopard cub had been found at Elephant Dam not 15 minutes after we drove past, and then I heard the large pride of lions was found on Mangawaan Rd just north of Elephant Dam...Damn. I guess it’s all about timing in the bush; right idea, wrong time!
Back at camp, we had two buffalo bulls I front of the lodge that chased off a hippo that came wandering past the camp waterhole while Grant and Marka’s guests were watching them; there timing is clearly better than mine!
Here is to hoping that my timing improves tomorrow!!!