Friday, 27 May 2011

27th May – Leopards Bound to Come Out Now...

Photo of the Day
Machaton cubs drinking milk
Morning Drive
(Chad and Marka)
12 x lions (Machaton Pride – 3 x lionesses and 9 x cubs) – Tanda Tula, Eastern Link

Daily Synopsis
Wow, winter arrived last night!  I even had to wear long pants!  But it was fine, and we braved the morning chill for the promises that the bush held.  The morning was not a bad one to end off my last 9 days of driving, but Marka had a bit of a quiet one in the north as he continued his search for leopard.

Chilly morning around Argyle Dam
It was actually ridiculous how many leopard tracks were around this morning – and all of them on roads that I drove repeatedly yesterday!  All about timing I guess!
I left Petros to again follow up on tracks for Kuhanya, now on our southern access, but while tracking them, he found tracks for a male leopard on top of her tracks, but heading in the opposite direction, so followed those instead.
With Petros on foot I carried on looking for animals in golden light, but all I could find was a herd of impalas at Argyle Dam, so spent time with them, and watched the mist rising over Argyle Dam.

Impala Ram
From there we headed to Sohebele Dam, half hoping the buffalos might be there, but only our hippos and more mist were there to keep us company.

Hippos and scenery of Sohebele Dam covered in a layer of rising mist

Petros wasn’t having any luck with the leopard tracks, and walking into two buffalo bulls sort of spoilt his tracking efforts!  I pushed south, and found several more sets of leopard tracks, but didn’t stumble upon any of them.  We did find lots of nice birds and then we arrived at Hide Dam to find a small herd of male giraffes in the area.

Pearl-spotted owl, red-crested korhaan, helmeted guineafowl and giraffe at Hide Dam
Following on from that, I headed a bit further south to Machaton Dam to respond to an invitation to go and see the Machaton Pride a few hundred metres east of the dam.  Near the dam we had a nice sighting of a herd of zebras and some waterbuck and impala.

Egyptian goose, zebra, waterbuck and impala around Machaton Dam
Arriving at the lions, we found them sleeping in the sun trying to warm up, but they were unsurprisingly inactive considering it was late in the morning.  Even the young cubs didn’t do as much as I had hoped for, and while fighting for a teat to suckle on, all fell asleep and we left the happy family to their business and headed back to camp.

Machaton young cubs suckling from mom
This was my last drive for a short while as the camp is a bit quiet, and I really have to get working on the book that I am doing for the lodge (details to follow!) this is the last major update for a while, but I will still keep you all posted on what is going on out there with the other guides and what they are seeing!  It should be fantastic now that I am off drive – especially all the leopards that are bound to come out this afternoon!

Speak to you all again soon!



1 comment:

  1. Fab photos with a difference today.. Chad those two 'winter tree' pics are to die for - stunning. I'm so glad the cubs were drinking milk - one never knows what one's drink can be spiked with these days, whilst one is feeding.