Thursday, 23 June 2011

21st and 22nd June – Khlakise Female and Cubs with another Kill!

On This Day
Sohebele Lioness drinking at Lily Pan - 22nd June 2008

Dark Chanting Goshawk and a full moon - 21st June 2008

Marula Tree textures - 22nd June 2008
21st June Morning Drive
2 x rhino
1 x breeding herd of elephant – Motswari, Southern Access

21st June Afternoon Drive
( Marka)
2 x lions (Sohebele Males) – Peru, Pagati Rd
1 x breeding herd of buffalo – Peru, Pagati Rd
1 x rhino (Nhlangula male)
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Motswari, Airstrip

22nd June Morning Drive
(Marka and Herald)
3 x leopards (Klhakisa female and 2 cubs with impala kill) – Jaydee, Tchwala Rd
1 x leopard (Mbali female with python kill) – Peru, Wilkins’ Way
1 x breeding herd buffalo – Peru, Sohebele Dam
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Argyle, Crossing Below Argyle Dam
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Motswari, Xinatsi Dam
1 x elephant – Peru, Barnes Post

22nd Afternoon Drive
( Marka and Herald)
1 x leopard (Mbali female) – Peru, Wilkins’ Way
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Peru, Francolin Pan
2 x elephant bulls – Motswari, Camp
1 x breeding herd of buffalo – Argyle, Oppikoppie Rd

Daily Synopsis
Hello hello!  I’m back in the bush after a week of “freezing” weather in Johannesburg – okay, it wasn't that cold, but still a awful lot cooler than the middle of winter temperatures in the bush!
As always, I seem to have missed out on a good week – firstly I missed the full lunar eclipse here, but more upsetting for me was missing the return of my old friends!  The Sohebele males seem to have come into their own and trailing a herd of buffalos is something that I have never seen them do before!  It was a bit disconcerting to hear that there were only two of them.  It would be nothing more than speculation to say that the third brother is dead, and considering how much of their youth they spent apart, there is every chance that he is still alive and well, just on his own!  That being said, the fact that they have come right back into the heart of our reserve and their natal territory could indicate that they had encountered some competition in the east that chased them this side?  But as I said, speculation!
It was also wonderful to read about regular sightings of Mbali – so good to have her being seen more often now!  Kuhanya, Gijima male, Argyle male, Vyeboom Dam male, Rockfig Jnr and Khlakise female and her cubs al made appearances, and the Mafikizolo Pride of lions were seen often, although it does seem as though it will be a long road ahead to get them habituated.
So the good run of viewing has continued, and when I come back on drive tomorrow, I hope that it continues for the next four weeks!
The last two days have been good, and while Marka has generally been alone, he has had good viewing.  Khlakise female and her cub were found with an impala kill up a large marula tree, and as there was a hyena under the tree, the cubs had nowhere to go and yesterday morning allowed all of the guides to see them.  They respected their usual shyness and gave them their distance, and Johannes commented to me that they lay there in the tree paying more attention to the hyena than the vehicles!  I recall that it was a sighting similar to that that eventually turned Vyeboom Dam male into a habituated individual.  If this leap of leopards continues to be found, then we shall no doubt get them habituated quickly!
Mbali was also around yesterday morning, and she had a python kill, but she had dragged it into a thick drainage line that offered a very poor visual, hence Marka’s need to go and see the two leopard cubs instead.
There have been elephant and buffalo herds around on most drives, and the Sohebele males were found near their buffalo herd on Tuesday evening.  Marka also had tracks for Mafikizolo Pride yesterday morning, but the trackers had no luck finding them before the morning was done.
Interestingly, Giyani saw a herd of five rhinos between Java and the main lodge yesterday morning – not something we often see in that area of the reserve!
That that is a brief update from the last two days – sorry for the lack of pic’s, but the ones posted were taken on this date over the preceding years.
As I said, I’m back on drive tomorrow, so will be resuming my full updates from then!

Enjoy, and thanks again to Grant for manning the blog in my absence!
Was a very quiet morning on the 22nd June - so i stopped in delight at seeing an animal; some kudus drinking at Lily Pan

Two minutes later, the kudus and impala ran off as one of the Sohebele lionesses emerged from the bushes to come and drink - we followed her back to the rest of the pride where they lay with a large kudu kill - patience and stopping for the smaller things was well rewarded again!

View over the pool - 2008 was a dry year!  Bush in much better condition this year!

Elephant tracks in the sand


  1. Welcome back Chad,
    I hope you have a great 4 weeks, be sure, I will be here :)

    Lovely lion shot at the top, the eye contact and tongue out. Great timing.

  2. Lovely pictures from 2008 :) and am so glad the sohobeles are back in the area, apart from the absence of the 3rd brother.
    Will be three years next week we were there hopefully we will return in 3 years time when my son is old enough.
    Hope there are some past pictures from then next week ;) hahaha!