Thursday, 14 July 2011

13th July: A Not So Typical Winters Day.

Pic of the Day.
Morning Drive.

( Grant, Godfrey & Colbert.)

Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Peru – Xincele Rd.
Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Java – Leopard Rock Hide.
Rhino ( 2 x Unknown Males)
Leopard ( Vyeboom Dam Male) / Argyle – Horizon Rd.
Buffalo ( Dagha Boys) / Argyle – Mfene Crossing.

Afternoon Drive.

( Grant.)

Cheetah ( Unknown Female) / Vielmieter – Albert/ Vielmieter Cutline.
Elephant ( Kambaku) / Motswari – Motswari Northern Access.
Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Java – Back of Java.
Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Vielmieter - 1st Tsharalumi Crossing.

Daily Synopsis.

Our morning got off to a great start with open clear sky's and a great sighting of the Xinatsi Hyena Clan a little West of Motswari Airstrip. We were heading off West to follow up on Rhino when we came across tracks for Argyle Male close to the airstrip heading South. This triggered the memory that there was a dead Kudu Bull on Hangar Rd that had been found the afternoon before, thinking he may have visited the sight we headed in it's direction. On making our way into the area we started to come across a number of Hyena in different states of activity, from those sleeping off their indigestion to those that were still feeding off the now nearly finished carcass, and others that were chasing around one another time sharing a leg. We settled in to watch the proceedings and it was fascinating to watch the dynamics between the different members of the clan that at one stage number ten. As is with Hyenas feeding their was a lot of commotion with all the snarling, whimpering and giggling that comes with it and it was an enjoyable way to spend the first forty five minutes of the drive.

Not forgetting the focus for the this mornings drive we set of in search of our Rhino. There were a number of tracks in and around the Western sector that three of us set about tracking, as time passed we realised that we were tracking the same tracks and that we all where at different stages of the Rhino's nightly wander. Colbert eventually tracked them out our traversing area and we all were back at square one. Fortunately for us their appears to be a number of different Rhino that are now adventuring into our area and it was not long before we picked up on other fresh tracks. This set of tracks looked more promising and it was not long until two male rhino were found, unfortunately they too had changed direction and were now heading West and out of our traversing area. Lucky for us we were nearby and were able to get into the sighting shortly before they reached our boundary. Our luck was only to get better, as after a long nights wandering they were looking for a spot to rest and plonked themselves down forty metres short of our boundary for a morning nap allowing us to spend time with them and for other stations to visit the sighting.

After our rhino adventure we headed off to have morning coffee at Makulu Dam, on resuming drive the weather had taken a nasty turn for the worse and now was it not only cold but it had started to drizzle. This seemed to have a negative effect on the game and from be a pretty active morning things disappeared into hiding. With things having gone quiet we retreated to the shelter of the lodge and the comfort of brunch.

Afternoon drive commenced in worse conditions than we ended off in the morning, in fact we had to wear our poncho's as it started to rain. Being cold, grey, wet and generally miserable we did not hold out much hope for an action packed afternoon. We did however expect the larger game to come out and play, as they enjoy this weather.

Planning to stick to the North in search of Leopard it was not long before our plans took a drastic change. We received news that a Cheetah was spotted in the South and was on the hunt. Realising that nothing would top a sighting of this majestic cat on a day like today we turned South for the very long drive. It would take a lot of luck for us to get to the sighting as not only was it highly mobile but it was also travelling through a very tricky area. Along the drive we received constant updates on it's progress and the guys did a great job in keeping up with it. It was lost on a number of occasions but luckily each time it was relocated, still hunting to the North. We had given up hope on these occasions and detoured to visit the many Elephant in the area, we had also entertained the thought of looking for one of our very elusive Leopards in the South. So for Jacky and myself the afternoon was a bit of a roller-coaster ride and a tad disjointed to say the least, swinging from on again off again. We eventually took the decision to head to the area and take a chance and just as well we did as the later part of the afternoon we got to spend with a beautiful Cheetah while it went about its hunting. We followed her until sunset were we left her, or should I say, she left us at high speed chasing after something that had caught her eye.

Once again it goes to show that you can never predict what's going to happen on drive and that an awesome surprise may await around the next corner.

Our prediction for large game was not unfounded with plenty Elephant about and two different Rhino sightings.

I wonder what surprises tomorrow holds in store.

1 comment:

  1. Great day and update Grant!
    Love the hyena clan pictures.