Wednesday, 1 June 2011

31st May – Ending off the Month on a High

Photo of the Day
Not a bad sunset to end the month off!
Morning Drive
(Marka and Herald)
2 x rhino (female and calf)
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Vielmetter, Mangawaan Rd
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Karans, Western Cutline
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Motswari, Airstrip

Afternoon Drive
(Marka and Chad (staff drive))
4 x lions (Machton Pride – 3 x lionesses and 1 x Timbavati Male) – Vielmetter, Hide Dam
1 x leopard (unknown  young male (?)) – De Luca, Argyle Rd
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Peru, Sohebele Plains
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Vielmetter, Dizzy Drive
1 x elephant bull – Mbali, Western Cutline
1 x elephant bull – Karans, Western Cutline
2 x elephant bulls – Argyle, Long Rd

Daily Synopsis
The month of May has drawn to a close, and after four frustrating drives for Marka – missing out on the leopard last night, and then missing out on the two rhinos this morning – he needed a stroke of luck to help him with some good animals this afternoon – particularly cats.
After hearing that the Machaton cubs had been found in the south late in the morning, there was hope for him.  Sadly, this hope faded fast when, in the afternoon, the guides checked up and found that the cubs were still on their own, and their mothers hadn’t returned, and wisely closed off the sighting.
The light returned as the tracks for the lionesses were followed up on as they headed north-east.  I was out on a staff bumble, and headed into the north-eastern section of the Umbabat for a nice sundowner, and was listening to the radio.  Sadly my heart dropped when I heard that the Machaton lionesses’ tracks had crossed off the property to the east.  I felt bad for Marka and his guests, but thought at least the mothers would be back tomorrow to the cubs, so the chance was there to see them.
I turned off my radio and enjoyed a drive in a different area – always love driving out there and seeing the different habitats – it’s amazing how the small gabbro intrusions in the underlying rock in that area give rise to beautiful open, grassy areas...didnt help, there was very little about, but we weren’t there to see animals.
After drinks, we made the trip back home, and a lot warmer than it has been the last few nights...must mean cold weather is coming!  Better news though, my disappointment for Marka and his guests was misplaced!  They had found the one Timbavati male and three Machaton lionesses on Vielmetter again, just near Hide Dam! 
Just shows, you can never be sure what the bush will throw at you...just like the semi-relaxed, unknown young male leopard we found on our way home!

Found this unknown leopard on the way home last night - thought it was a female, but looking at that developing dewlap on the neck, does look like a young male (although no other "male" evidence is evident) - also notice all the scratch marks on his body
Cant wait to see what the next month has in store for us!

1 comment:

  1. Love the pics, love the blog, love the hits and misses - at least we know we're in the real bush world where the habits of the animals dictate for a change. We are not being conned by canned!!!

    Again, congratulations on the milestones your blog is reaching. And to all the contributors, thank you.