|Pic of the Day.|
( Marka & Grant.)
Leopard ( Rockfig Jnr) / Kings – Double Highway.
Lion ( 2 x Timbavati Males) / Kings – Cheetah Plains.
Lion ( 3x Machaton Females & 5 x Cubs) / Kings – Tamboti Rd.
Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Vielmieter – Entrance Dam.
Buffalo ( Dagha Boy) / Peru – Wild West.
( Marka & Grant.)
Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Argyle – Crossing Below Argyle.
Waking to an even colder morning than the one before we did not hold out much hope in finding things early, I know if I had the choice I'd still be in bed, ok, maybe not, but it would be a close call. The wildlife did however did decide to sleep in and things were very slow to start, even Marka had himself a very quiet morning.
We decided to check on Kuhanya see if she may still be there after three days but unfortunately she had moved on, in her place though was a Hyena feeding on the remains of the Impala kill that she must have lost some time during the night. We stayed and watched this very much misunderstood creature and slowly converted our guests from believing they were little more than dirty scavengers. Had we known the rest of the morning was to be as quiet as it was we would have spent the entire drive with her.
Not finding much in the North and hearing that Giyani had found fairly fresh Rhino tracks in the South we headed in his direction to give him a hand. Picking up from where he left off we slowly tracked this male Rhino South visiting every mud wallow along the way, until eventually he changed direction and started heading East. This was not to be a good thing as he was now heading in the direction of our traversing boundary. We continued on hoping to get lucky but eventually we tracked him till he crossed out, well at least we had done as much as we could and their was not the frustration of not catching up with him.
While we were on the tail of our Rhino we received an invitation to visit Kings who had found the Machaton Females with the five older cubs. Having seen very little during our long escapade the invitation was greatly appreciated. Being South we did not have far to go, but such is natures way, when you trying to get somewhere things suddenly pop up. This time it was the turn of Rockfig Jnr, who we had seen fresh tracks for and were half heartedly keeping an eye out for, when she appeared crossing the road ahead of us. I guess we could live with this delay, especially as she has not been seen in a while. Thinking about it all the Leopards of the South have been very quiet of late. We stuck with her until other stations with the Lions could respond and take over the sighting. We heard she eventually led them back to a half eaten Impala kill, that looked like a young Hyena may have tried to steal from her. She may have been looking for Nthombela when we found her and they could possibly be found together this afternoon.
Again while we were with Rockfig Jnr, Cynat from Kings found two of the Timbavati Males sleeping out in the open on Cheetah Plains. Our once hibernating morning had exploded into life. Having learnt my lessons we immediately contacted Motswari to let the kitchen know not to expect us any time soon, still not making any friends in that department.
We visited the males first, and maybe exploded into life would be an overstatement, as they were fast asleep in the warmth of the sun, barely lifting their heads or peaking an eye at our arrival. Once again spending time with them paid off as it obviously got a little warm out in the sun and the one woke, sat up, and then stood and moved off into some nearby shade. Satisfied we had seen the most activity that was in store for the day we moved off to visit the females and cubs, who were to be found some distance away to the West.
Arriving with the females they to were engaged in a battle against sleep, which they clearly were losing. We expected even less activity out of them as you could see they had obviously eaten something substantial recently and were also busy fighting the digestion battle. As was with the males, the sun eventually became to warm for them and slowly one by one they made their way to a nice shady spot not far off. This allowed us a nice view of them all and once they all settled in, we decided it was time to head off and fight the mounting battle of our hunger!
Yet again trying to get back we were again hindered by a sighting of a Honey Badger sunning itself on the side of a termite mound followed by a great sighting of a herd of Elephant drinking at Entrance Dam.
It appears that the trend of very active mornings equals very inactive afternoons was to follow for a second day in a row. We headed off East in hope of finding a visiting vagrant Kruger Rhino but as was our endeavour in the West the afternoon before we found no recent tracks of anything that resembled a Rhino. As Murphy's Law would have it though while we were out on the Eastern Boundary, Giyani called in a sighting of two Rhino's on the Western Boundary! Entertaining the thought we decided against it and enjoyed an afternoon filled with the most Zebra sightings I've ever had while working in the Timbavati, followed closely by as many Giraffe. I think this has a lot to do with the White Lions having moved out of the area.
We ended off our day as we had started, with a sighting of a Hyena near Motswari's Airstrip. I hear you ask, “ what's tomorrows plan?” Pretty much the same as today, conquer the Rhino world!