Wednesday, 20 July 2011

19th July: Walk About!

Pic of the Day.

Morning Drive.

(Grant, Chad & Herald.)

Lion ( Mafikisolo Pride) / Mbali – Hawk Eagle Rd.
Leopard ( Kuhanya) / Motswari – Bushbuck Chalet.

Afternoon Drive.

( Herald.)

Leopard ( Kuhanya) / Motswari – Bush Buck Chalet.
Lion ( Machton Pride, 3 x Female & 7 x Cubs) / Vielmieter – Hide Dam.

Daily Synopsis.

Restricted for time as Chad and my group were checking out early we had decided the day before that we would do an early morning walk as their last activity as opposed to the drive. We were going to drive out into a beautiful area and walk to a nearby dam for coffee before returning to the lodge. As Murphy's Law would have it, “the best laid plans of mice and men”, would change slightly. This is due to the events that unfolded during the night. I had retired to bed early whilst Chad hosted that evening, getting to bed a little later he was lying in bed when he heard something scuffle through the bushes next to his room, followed by a loud bleating call. At first he thought something had caught a monkey but venturing out on to his stoep armed with a flash light he found the source of the squeal, it was Kuhanya trying to strangle a Duiker mere metres from his house. Chad woke his house mate Pete, our apprentice, and they both sat there and watched as the Duiker slowly lost it's grip on life. Once it was immobile Kuhanya proceeded to drag it off further into the bushes where she lay down to take a rest. The bleating call of the caughtker was sure to raise attention and it was not that long before Hyena arrived on the scene, at which point Kuhanya, as fast as a bolt of lightening picked up plus or minus fifteen kilograms of Duiker, and in one movement bounded up to the upper branches of a nearby Mopane Tree. John, our night watchman, had kindly awakened me and this is were I found her, perched precariously at the top of the tree holding onto her dinner for dear life. We sat and watched for a while and were amazed at her pure strength, being able to balance in the tree and hold onto something that must be nearly half her own weight. The Hyena hovered around the base of the tree in the hope that she may drop it, but by the time we left she looked quite settled so we returned to bed while the Hyena's chose to rest beneath her, ever the opportunists. Needless to say not much sleep was had after the nights excitement.

Waking in the morning we all gathered for coffee and the story had already spread like wild fire, with many of the guests having heard the commotion themselves during the night. So our first call of port this morning was to follow up before we could head out for our intended walk. It did not take us long to relocate her. She was resting in the long grass nearby the tree she had hoisted her kill into, which now looked securely anchored. The Hyena's were still milling about but as it got lighter they slowly sunk away.

Temporary delayed we headed off for our walk that had the added adventure of walking in the mist, which gave it that more of an eerie feeling. Chad led the walk and introduced our guests to a world of all the smaller things that you miss whilst on the vehicle. Talking them through how everything fits together and is intricately linked no matter how big or small it is. Running out of time we never got to the dam or had coffee for that matter. It could have had something to do with having walked in a circle, but I'll let Chad fill you in on that story.

Chad Talking Crap - Buffalo.

Talking Only A Little Crap - Giraffe.
Spot The Antlion Funnels.
Scorpian Burrow.
Yet Again More Crap - Zebra.

Taking Note Of The Knobthorn Tree.

With Chad heading on leave himself today we wish him a restful break and we'll keep you up to date on all the happenings.

Not forgetting Herald, he once again produced his magic and found our skittish Mafikisolo Pride with the remains of a Waterbuck they had killed. By the sounds of things they are slowly becoming used to the vehicles and the guys are being able to view them from a distance without them running off into the nearest thicket. The Machaton Pride was also found, still heading North after the herd of Buffalo they have been following the past couple of days. So it looks like the bush is coming to life, hmm........ I wonder why?

Herald was out alone in the afternoon and with new guests everything was set up very nicely for him. He did not have to travel far for Leopard and when he was done spending some quality time with Kuhanya he headed off to the South to visit the Machaton Pride at Hide Dam, a nice open area and a great area to view game. What a way to welcome his guests to Africa.

Kuhanya and her kill just outside the camp, showing a guide's house in the background!

Godfrey and I will be joining tomorrow afternoon, lets hope everything is still around.


  1. hahahaha, awesome blog! cant wait for tomorrowa update, including the phone call!

    and of course i meant to walk in a complete circle instead of a straight line!!!

  2. LOL @ Chad...
    Great update Grant... You have to love Kuhanya, beautiful leopard and been away for a while she sure does make up for it and made sure you can't miss her :-)