Monday, 25 April 2011

24th April – Buffalo and Elephants Aplenty

 Photo of the Day

Male impala rutting and chasing after other males

Morning Drive
(Chad, Grant and Herald)
1 x breeding herd of buffalo – Peru, Wild West
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Scholtz, River Rd
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Jaydee, Makulu Dam
3 x elephant bulls – Peru, Sohebele Dam
2 x elephant bulls – Motswari, Airstrip

Afternoon Drive
(Chad, Grant and Herald)
1 x leopard (Nthombi’s male cub) – Vielmetter, Elephant Dam
1 x breeding herd of buffalo – Peru, Machelo Pan Link
2 x buffalo bulls – Vielmetter, Double Highway
2 x buffalo bulls – Peru, Woza-Woza Cutline
1 x buffalo bull – Peru, Sohebele Dam
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Peru, Lion Pan Link 1
1 x breeding herd of elephant – Vielmetter, Double Highway
2 x elephant bulls – Motswari, Airstrip
2 x elephant bulls – Peru, Western Cutline
1 x elephant bull – Motswari, Camp
1 x elephant bull – Argyle, Crossing Below Vyeboom Dam

Daily Synopsis
Easter Sunday was yet another good day at Motswari, and for the second morning in a row we were told that a leopard had walked through camp in the early hours of the morning, but for the second morning in a row, we didn’t have any luck finding it!
Despite a cat-free day for everyone except Herald, we all enjoy rather pleasant days.  I was after a change of scenery, so I headed south looking for the good general game (zebra, giraffe and wildebeest) that Godfrey had seen there the day before.
The trip down was a bit quiet, but we did see impalas, warthogs and steenbok.  Once down on Vielmetter, we started finding what we were there for; some good general game!  We ended off with I think eight different sightings of giraffe (although admittedly, only the last few were as co-operative as we wanted them to be!)!!!
giraffe bull - plenty about this morning!
 In addition we did find some zebra, a lone wildebeest (who was running off looking for the rest of the herd) and some very nice birds including marabou storks and some vultures.

Marabou stork; white-backed vultures and a not-so-cooperative lilac-breasted roller!
While checking around Elephant Dam we found some rhino tracks, but were disheartened to hear that they had already been tracked across Argyle Rd into Klaserie.  We then carried on to Makulu Dam where we saw some more nice birds, hippos, crocodiles, waterbuck, giraffe and a small breeding herd of elephants coming down to the dam to drink!

Elephants and crocodiles at Makulu Dam
On the way home we saw more giraffe and impala and arrived home quite satisfied with our efforts.  Sadly though, there was no leopard found after breakfast to draw us away from our afternoon nap!
In the afternoon, we had a pretty productive one.  Grant and I stayed in the north and took it easy; Herald on the other hand went south and got rewarded with sightings  of buffalo bulls, zebras, giraffe, a herd of elephants and a leopard (Nthombi’s boy near Elephant Dam again!).
In the north, all was quiet on the cat front but we saw some very nice kudu and waterbuck, hippos, large crocodiles and eventually made out way to the western boundary where we had a large breeding herd of buffalos crossing over Argyle Rd. 


Impala, warthogs, kudu and johannes and Marka with a breeding herd of buffalo
Heading to a drinks stop, we found some more buffalo bulls and then enjoyed the hippos at Mbali Dam.

Heron sunset and a dagga boy
I asked Petros for a chameleon on the way home, and he ended up finding 6!  We also found a boomslang (tree snake) – and out forth snake for the day!  Previously we had seen a large mature boomslang in a tree, then at breakfast there was a spotted bush snake eating a frog on the deck, and not far from that was a stripe bellied sand snake!  Carrying on with the small things, we also saw a kill of sorts – well if you count watching a hamerkop catch, kill, clean and eat a frog a kill!

Hamerkop killing a frog
Emphraim had radioed us to say that he had found a leopard resting on a broken dam wall about 1km north of the lodge, but sadly none of us were in the area to follow up, but he thinks it was Argyle Male.
So while we might have missed out on the ‘big and hairy’ animals today, we all got a chance to enjoy some wonderful sightings of the smaller inhabitants of the reserve...but we hope that some of them show themselves tomorrow!
One piece of exciting news was that there was a pack of wild dogs seen on our eastern Kruger Boundary – I will definitely be heading out there first thing in the morning to follow up!  Will let you all know how the search goes!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for all the photos and news, Chad. The ones of the Male Leopard Cub feeding on Saturdays Drive are simply stunning