Thursday, 12 May 2011

11th May: Wakey, Wakey, Rise & Shine!

Pic of the Day.

Morning Drive.

( Godfrey, Herald & Grant.)

Leopard ( Ntombi & Cub) / Vielmieter – Blue Thorn Rd.
Buffalo ( Breeding Herd) / Vielmieter – Bushwillow Way.

Afternoon Drive.

( Godfrey, Herald & Grant.)

Lion ( Machaton Females) / Kings – Leisha's Link.
Wild Dog ( 8 x Pack) / Vielmieter – JayDee Access.
Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Mbali – Buffalo Kill.
Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Peru – Lion Pan Link.
Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Vielmieter.
Elephant ( Kambaku's) / Vielmieter – Double Highway.

Daily Synopsis.

Dear Chad,

Knowing how much you enjoy your sleep I'm sure sleeping in till 10h30 was wonderful, but after reading this I'm pretty positive which you would have preferred to have done given the choice beforehand.

Our day started with us looking for Cats having missed out the night before. We followed up on Leopard calls that we heard shortly before drive, one on the Northern side of camp and another on the Southern. Herald headed to the North finding tracks very quickly but it appeared the Leopard was moving faster and it was not long before they found tracks crossing out of our traversing area. We tried following up to the South but had less success than Herald and could not find a track to pursue.

Widening our search we headed off in our separate directions, both our mornings took on the same shape with the birding being the best thing on offer, well that is until both Herald and I ran into one another again at a set of Lion tracks. The tracks appeared very fresh and we found where they had stalked and chased Zebra, from the number of tracks it looked like we were following our mysterious Lions once again. While Herald and I checked the roads in the immediate area, Jacky and Difference started following up on foot. It was not long before they contacted us to let us know they had found them, turning around we headed in their direction. Picking up Jacky and Difference we slowly made our way to the area they had seen one of the cubs and an adult female, no surprise they had moved on and despite our efforts in relocating them they were not to be found, I guess they not quite ready for company yet.

During our endeavours we received news that Ntombi and her cub had been found and followed until they led the guys to a Impala kill she had made. Ah........, the balance, where you lose out on one, you gain on another. While we had spent a fair amount of time tracking the Lions we decided to head off and visit Ntombi and her cub. Our timing could not have been better on this occasion, as we arrived the two Leopards had fed and were wondering around the area looking for a suitable place to rest. To work off breakfast a little exercise was first in order and the two off them ran around stalking, chasing and pouncing on one another, which was followed by a little rough and tumble. Understandably we stayed a long time with them as mom taught her cub some of life's valuable lessons.

Eventually dragging ourselves away we visited a large breeding herd of Buffalo on the way back to Motswari.

The afternoon had us looking for a breeding herd of Elle, so the best place to check would be Giraffe Kill Road which winds its way along the Tsharalumi riverbed. Once getting to the Tsharalumi it was not long before we found what we were looking for, a relaxed breeding herd of Elephant. The adults went about feeding, totally ignoring our presence while the youngsters approached us inquisitively. One was full of confidence mock charging us a number of times and when he didn't scare us off he took his frustrations out on the nearby shrubs, running them flat.

Herald and Godfrey were also in search of Elephant and found their own herds in the areas they were concentrating. Hearing the Machaton Females had been found and receiving an invitation to visit them, we headed South. We arrived to a typical Lion sighting, cats all fast asleep. Luckily it was getting late and the sun was close to setting, so the three females were becoming active, well two of them, the older aunt was lights out. Having had a nice sighting of them getting active we made space for other stations that were responding. One of these was meant to be Herald, but on his way there he found himself a pack of Wild Dog which distracted his focus. As we don't view the Dogs after sundown there was not enough time for myself and Godfrey to respond but at least we have something to focus on tomorrow morning.

After drinks we had ourselves an enjoyable trip back to the lodge, finding Hyena and a Black Mamba, but the highlight must go to the African Wildcat Kitten we viewed. It was totally relaxed and unphased by us and went about it's business, until we heard it's mother call out, at which it ran off to join her. When they united the mother gave it a disapproving look that could only be translated as: “ What have I told you about talking to strangers”, and she quickly retreated with her youngster into the night.

We are all looking forward to waking early tomorrow, got dogs to find. Lets see, Lion, Leopard, Buffalo, Elephant and Wild Dog, not a bad day if I may say so myself. Enjoy the lie in Chad, ha ha!


  1. Great, great pics all. Baby elephants have my vote as the cutest babies in the bush.

  2. Love the tease! :)
    It's amazing how Chad on leave = lots of animals!
    Great photos of Nthombi and her boy interacting.

  3. Lile...its purely co-incidental....and please, whatever Grant says tomorrow, dont believe him....its lies, ALL lies!!!

    hahahaha, i can tell you that i was (quite literally) very, very depressed when i heard about the day i missed out on today....and i really am starting to get a complex about this!

    look forward to your comments tomorrow!