Sunday, 24 July 2011

23rd July: A Spot Or Two!

Pic of the Day.
Morning Drive.

( Herald, Marka & Grant.)

Buffalo ( 2 x Dagha Boys) / Peru – Long Rd.
Buffalo ( Breeding Herd) / Scholtz – Kudu Pan Rd.
Leopard ( Mbali Female) / Mbali – Aardvark.
Elephant ( Kambaku) / Motswari – Xinatsi Dam.

Afternoon Drive.

( Herald, Marka & Grant.)

Leopard ( Mbali) / Peru – Tawny Eagle.
Leopard ( Kuhanya) / Argyle – Straight Rd.
Leopard ( Vyeboom Dam) / Motswari – Tsharalumi Access.
Rhino ( 4 x Crash)
Elephant ( Kambaku) / Argyle – Horizon Rd.

Daily Synopsis.

Having been the only one's to have seen the THREE Sohobele Males the evening before there was a lot of interest in following up this morning and both Herald and Marka headed in their direction. While checking around in the North we picked up on their tracks and that had headed further to the East. I dropped Jacky off to follow up while I headed off to the West to try and relocate four Rhino's that had been seen in the area. After finding a breeding herd of Buffalo and checking that it was not being followed by the Sohobele's Herald returned to the East to drop Difference off to help Jacky and Patrick. He would also stay in the area checking the surrounding areas while Marka and I headed in our separate directions to fill in the gaps.

I arrived in the West and found the spot where the Rhino's had been but as Murphy's Law would have it they had moved off into the surrounding Mopane, I did track a fair distance before losing the tracks on some hard clay soil. I'm sure if Jacky was present he would have seen exactly where they had got to. Returning to the car I chose to drive all the surroundings roads and maybe get lucky and bump with them, while also checking to make sure they had not crossed out of the block. I found no Rhino or even Rhino tracks, so they must have gone to rest inside the block. Hmm.........I'm going to have to sharpen those tracking skills! It would appear that the Rhino were not the only thing to fail me this morning and I guess the damp overcast weather kept the animals at bay a little later than usual, with us only finding things getting active on our return to camp.

Herald and the trackers also did not have much luck and the last tracks for the Sohobele's had them heading North and then turning back to the East passing very close to Motswari. At least Marka had himself a little more productive morning, even after not being able to relocate on Heralds Buffalo herd. He did however find Mbali shortly before returning to the lodge for breakfast.

It would appear all round that it was not a good morning for tracking as all of us were unsuccessful in our endeavours. Lets hope things pick up this afternoon. If I can take any positives from this morning, it would be that at least it highlighted to my guests exactly how special their drive the previous evening was.

The bush is an amazing place and as quiet as it was in the morning the afternoon it came to life in a big way. Not to be outdone by a couple of Rhino, and the fact my guests really wanted to see this big grey juggernaut, we returned to the area that I had no luck in the morning. Jacky was a bit dubious but I firmly believed that they had gone to rest in the block and that we would find them not far away. Returning to the tracks that I followed up on Jacky went onto foot while I again checked the roads in the surrounding area. From the information Jacky was feeding me I checked roads further to the South West. We knew we were closing in on them as Jacky had found where they had walked over my tracks from the morning and it was while checking a road one further South than Jacky that we found our four Rhino. We pre-empted their direction and positioned ourselves quite a distance in front of them hoping that they would in our direction. We were not to be disappointed as we sat extremely quietly as all four approached to within a couple of metres of the vehicle. With not many vehicles responding we were able to spend nearly our entire drive marvelling at these magnificent creatures.

The reason that our sighting did not draw that much attention was because there was a whole lot going on in the North. With three separate sightings of Leopard, one of which was Mbali killing a Scrub Hare, a breeding herd of Buffalo and a breeding herd of Elephant, we were spoilt for choice. We chose to take our sundowner stop and savour our triumph in finding our Rhino's before visiting Mbali who had finished off her Scrub Hare and was slowly making her way back to the West. On our way to the sighting we were also fortunate enough to find ourselves a Sharpe's Greysbok, another thing we can add to our nocturnal list of late.

Well tomorrow, we now need to relocate on that breeding herd of Buffalo as well as try find some Zebra, Giraffe and we could not go wrong with a Hyena or two.

1 comment:

  1. Great afternoon drive once again Grant...
    Thanks for all the updates!