Saturday, 30 April 2011

26th April – Back In Time!

Photo of the Day
Morning Drive
(Chad, Grant and Herald)
1 x rhino (Mtenga-tenga)
1 x leopard (Thumbela female) – Vielmetter, Dizzy Drive

Afternoon Drive
(Chad, Herald and Grant)
1 x rhino (Mtenga-tenga)
1 x breeding herd of buffalo – Java, Java Dam
2 x buffalo bulls – Karans, Western Cutline
2 x buffalo bulls – Argyle, Argyle Dam
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Vielmetter, Elephant Dam Rd
2 x elephant bulls – Argyle, Argyle Rd
1 x elephant bull – Argyle, Piva Plains

Daily Synopsis
So I’m doing this a wee bit backwards, but I saw I hadn’t posted an update for the 26th April, so here is a quick rundown of how the day went, well at least from what I can remember!
In the morning I was out on a shortened drive as some of my guests were checking out early.  I started in the north as usual, not really hoping for much, or needing much, as my guests really had seen a lot.  What they hadn’t seen was rhino, but I wasn’t holding my breath!  Another guide found tracks for a male and female leopard just east of Concrete Crossing, so I went to give him a hand and dropped off Petros to track the leopards on foot.
Miraculously, one of the southern stations found a rhino, Mtenga-tenga, on our property and I followed the other guides down south.  It proved to be a good choice, as this same guide soon found Thumbela female leopard nearby!
While it was rhino I was most in need of, it was Thumbela that got my attention first and we joined Grant and watched this beautiful leopardess as she stalked through the bush after a seemingly invisible quarry, but likely a mouse that we just couldn’t see!  Thumbela was the sixth different leopard that my guests had seen in their stay!

Thumbela on the hunt
We pulled ourselves away from her as our time was short this morning, and we still had a rhino to see!  Grant kindly gave us his spot in the line up and we went to view the male white rhino, but it was a sighting that was far too reminiscent of our lion chase the night before!  He was on a mission and carried on walking through the bush, not once stopping to feed.  We only managed to get ahead of him once and got a nice walk past, but the rest of the time we had to put up looking at his bum as he stopped from time to time to scent-mark!
After that I headed back to camp, and then off to the doctor to get sorted out!  I actually had a very good drive on the way out to Hoedspruit; a breeding herd of elephants, elephant bulls, a breeding herd of buffalo, plenty of giraffe, nice zebras, wildebeest herds and tonnes of impala all along the road!  Maybe didn’t quite match the Cheetah that Dave saw on his way to town on Thursday morning, but it was still great!
I arrived back to the lodge and took my meds for the tick bite fever, then headed back out into the bush for the best fix!
It wasn’t the most productive afternoon, but we still had some good viewing and a decent star for the new guests; impala, waterbuck, warthogs, buffalo bulls, elephant bull and a breeding herd of buffalo were all seen before I stopped for drinks on Java Airstrip.

Impala, buffalo bulls and elephant

Breeding herd of buffalo
After dark I went to check Hide Dam area, really hoping to get lucky with Thumbela, but it was not to be, and I slowly made my way back to camp without much to talk about.  Grant sensibly took his new guests a bit further south to show them the rhino, and Herald also saw a nice herd of elephants, but lions were once again missing from the list...will have to wait and see when this drought ends!

1 comment:

  1. Stunning photos all of them, and so many different animals. Love seeing the wild dogs.

    Another superb blog.

    Thanks Chad.