Friday, 17 June 2011

16th June: Stretch.

Pic of the Afternoon.

Morning Drive.

( Herold & Johannes.)

Lions ( Machaton Females & 9 x Cubs.) / Umlani – Marco's Dam.
Rhino ( 2 x Females.)
Buffalo ( Breeding Herd.) / Kings - Argyle Rd.
Elephant ( Breeding Herd.) / Peru - Giraffe Kill.
Elephant ( Breeding Herd.) / Tanda Tula.

Afternoon Drive.

( Johannes, Grant & Marka.)

Elephant ( Kambaku's.) / Argyle – Argyle Dam.
Elephant ( Kambaku.) / Motswari – Xinatsi Dam Rd North.
Elephant ( Breeding Herd.) / Peru - Giraffe Kill.
Leopard ( Mbali.) / Argyle – Peru Entrance.

Daily Synopsis.

Returning to drive in the afternoon with avid followers of the blog, the pressure was on, thanks Chad! With Jacky on long leave I'm now working with one of our graduate apprentices Tiyani, who may I say straight out has a very sharp eye. Our intention was to take things nice and easy in the North, kinda tap into the pulse of the bush and introduce our guests to the area. In no rush we spent a fair amount of time checking in and around Motswari, see if we could get lucky with one of our resident Leopards, but the only sign we found were some old tracks from late the night before and not worth trying to follow up on. We then turned our attention to the areas around Argyle and Sohobele Dams, hoping this time to find Ele, or perhaps a Crocodile or a Hippo or two basking out on a bank in the afternoon sun. We struck out on the Ele, but we found a shy Hippo that seemed more intent on playing a game of hide and seek with us. The Crocodile however did present himself out on a bank not far from the edge and provide for a good sighting as the sun entered the golden hour.

Getting back on the road we headed to the East after hearing from a neighbouring land owner that he had Lions roaring not far from his camp earlier in the morn. Always worth trying our luck! While on our way we received news that they had found what they thought was a semi skittish Leopard in the West, hmm.............. not worth the risk and we continued about our business. After taking our relaxed sundowners at Kudu Pan we continued to check Majambi Dam and then onto the Kruger Boundary, where I now heard that our mysterious Leopard had magically morphed herself into Mbali! We now conveniently sat at the opposite end of the world, but it was Mbali, and she was worth the risk. Heading in her direction we speeded things up as we got word that there where a number of Impala in the area. Eventually arriving on site we got to see her move off into a drainage line and then from there we only had the occasional sighting of her back as she manoeuvred herself into position to hunt, we eventually lost her in a Mopane thicket. On trying to relocate we found a number of Impala in the area and realised our efforts were futile, so we let her be to hunt in peace and quiet. Not exactly the sighting I was hoping for but lets hope we can make amends in the morning!

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