Tuesday, 7 June 2011

06th June: Business As Usual.

Pic of the Day.

Morning Drive.

( Grant.)

Leopard ( Argyle Male) / Argyle – Argyle Dam.
Elephant ( 6 x Kambaku's) / Peru – Hippo Rocky Rd.

Afternoon Drive.

( Grant & Chad.)

Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Argyle – Long Rd.
Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Vielmieter – JayDee Access.
Elephant ( Bull) / Argyle - Airstrip
Leopard ( Argyle Male) / Argyle – Argyle Dam
Leopard ( Unknown) / Peru – Mbali River Rd.
Buffalo ( Dagha Boy) / DeLuca – Western Cutline.
Rhino ( 2 x Females)

Daily Synopsis.

Having missed out the afternoon before we headed back to where Argyle Male had his Kudu kill in the hope that we would be able to find him this morning. Approaching the sight we noticed him sighting up in a tree a little to the East of where he had been the day before and opposite him on another branch sat his kill, still a fair way from finished. Once again he was not in an idea viewing spot and we had to manoeuvre to get ourselves in a suitable position. It was here that we noticed two Hyena's sitting below him, it could explain why he was sighting on such a small branch and looked horribly uncomfortable with body parts spilling all over the place. Sitting with him he tried to catch a catnap but eventually his discomfort won over and he checked out his surroundings and confident that the Hyena were no threat he made his way down and headed off towards Argyle Dam for a drink. We watched as he dragged his huge belly to the waters edge and then proceed to nearly drink the dam dry, clearly he had built up quite the thirst. We left him as he made his way up onto the opposite bank and sat and sunned himself.

Hearing that the White Lions may be heading in our direction we headed off North to check our boundaries, would hate to miss welcoming them back. We later received news though that they had changed direction the day before and had headed back to the West, so unfortunately away from us, but at least we know they are in and around the area, and everyday now holds a new promise. Here's holding thumbs.

Being in the West we turned our attention to trying to find Rhino, you have heard this story a few times. We did find tracks but they were old and not worth the effort following up. We however found fresher tracks for a lone Cheetah that we did try follow up on but being on the boundary of our traversing area and with it heading in that direction it was not long before we had the tracks crossing out.

Our morning turned very quiet there after and it was only later on our way back to the lodge that we found a nice bull Elephant herd casually feeding in amongst the Mopane scrub. We also had a very large herd of Giraffe of all sizes, age, and gender.

A trip down South may be in order this afternoon as the search for Rhino continues and from the activity on the radio it sounds like there could be a fair amount about.

Our afternoon got off to a busy start with a message as we set off from camp that there was a breeding herd of Elephant North of Argyle Dam, Argyle Male at Argyle Dam, a breeding herd of Buffalo at Vyeboom Dam and if that was not enough to keep us busy there was a large Crocodile and a couple of Hippos out of the water sunning themselves at Sohobele Dam.

Having a particular soft spot for Elephant we headed in their direction first, far as I'm concerned you can never spend to much time with a herd of these magnificent creatures!

Having had a great sighting of Argyle Male in the morning we decided to head to Sohobele Dam and check out the Crocodile and Hippo. This would also buy us more time to spend looking for our primary focus, a Rhino.

We felt our best chance lay in the South West corner as Rhino appear to favour this area late afternoon, it also gave us the excuse to drive along the Tsharalumi Riverbed were a number of Elephant are to also be found late in the day. Crossing the river to the West we turned South when we got a fleeting glimpse of Leopard up in an Apple Leaf Tree, as soon as it got wind of us it skulked out the tree and slipped off into the thick vegetation on the rivers bank, never to be seen again. We are pretty sure it was the same young male we had the morning before as we were in very much the same vicinity.

Our next special sighting came around the corner where we found a herd of Giraffe in the riverbed. They had collected around one of the remaining pools of water and were in the processes of drinking. We don't often get to see this as they feel vulnerable and are very wary when drinking. So we decided to spend some time with them as they relaxed with our presence and continued with quenching their thirst.

Running out of time we continued South but as luck would have it a station already in the South West corner located two semi relaxed Rhino, so it appeared we were saved on having to do all the hard work. Again taking things for granted the bush put us in our place very quickly and when arriving at the sight of our two Rhino they had disappeared into the second thickest vegetation I've seen in a while. Jacky and I tracked on foot for a while but realised even if we found them there was no way we would get a vehicle anywhere near them and that's not taking into account their skittishness.

Resigning that tomorrow is another day we headed off for sundowners. Shortly before closing down for drinks I received a message from Giyani telling me that I must rush to a pan a little further North of where we lost the Rhino, as he had found another two females approaching the pan to drink. Now racing sunset and the fast failing light we headed there as fast as possible and arrived as they were finishing off their drink. With the glowing red dusk on the horizon you could not wish for a better backdrop and although we could not spend to much time with them we had ourselves a great sighting.

Being on our Western boundary and having herd that the White Lions were heading in the direction of our North Western border we decided to head back along the main tar road, check if the luck of the Irish would strike twice in one evening. Taking drinks at Voeldam we ran into Will and Lianne who confirmed that they had been tracking the White Lions in our direction and they thought they may cross sometime during the night. So after drinks we continued along the tar road but apparently you can only be so lucky and we arrived back at the lodge not having found the ultimate prize! It won't take a fortune cookie to know where and what we will be doing tomorrow morning!

1 comment:

  1. Stunning photos! I spent the month of February at the Thanda Private Game Reserve near Mkuze and I miss the animals so much. I will be here often to get my fill of game drives and drama.