Wednesday, 27 July 2011

26th July: A New Era Dawns?

Pic of the Day.

Morning Drive.

( Herald, Marka & Robin.)

Buffalo ( Breeding Herd) / Vielmieter – Elephant Dam Rd.
Buffalo ( Dagga Boy) / Motswari – Wisani Crossing.
Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Peru – Giraffe Kill.
Rhino ( 3 x Females)
Rhino ( 1 x Male, 1 x Female)

Afternoon Drive.

( Herald, Marka, Robin & Grant.)

Lion ( 4 x White Lions) / Peru – Mpiva Plains.
Lion ( Maghlatini Male) / Peru – Mpiva Plains.
Rhino ( 3 x Unknown) / Argyle – Old Mpisi Kaya.
Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Peru – Mbali River Rd.
Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Mbali – Aardvark Rd.
Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Java – Java Dam.

Daily Synopsis.

With the country fighting off the claws of winter, we were no exception and the previous days high of 31C only made it feel that much colder. Glad I was not on drive this morning. I did however head out on a walk with our young apprentice Pete, check on his progress. Boy does he know a lot about grass, so the walk was both enjoyable and very informative. If I HAD to fault him anywhere it would be his direction, but only slightly and still better than Chad.

Joining for afternoon drive lets see what the bush has in store for us.

Having seen Shongile during the afternoon a little North of camp I decided to head in that direction to see if we could relocate her. Checking the area there was nothing to be found and as Leopards tend to do, she had disappeared without a trace. With Marka finding three Rhino's nearby we responded to his sighting to make up for the disappointment in not relocating our Leopard.

Robin had headed off to the South in search of Buffalo, which eluded him as well, but he did have himself an afternoon filled with Elephant. The best being a sighting of a herd drinking at Java Dam. Herald with new guests had headed straight to the White Lions who were in the process of finishing off their Buffalo kill on Mpiva Plains. Also having new guests we intended to arrive there a little later but after a message from Herald informing me that it was a great sighting with the Lions feeding and plenty of Hyena in the area, we chose to fast forward our time of arrival.

We were not to be disappointed and pulling into the sighting one of the White females was feeding while her tawny cousin held onto his share, as if to reserve it for later. Mom and the other white female lay nearby trying to get comfortable around their massive bellies. The Hyena's were out in force and we counted a total of twelve in the immediate area. While some fought over a stolen scrap, others went about trying to steal their own, pestering the now somewhat docile Lions. If that were not enough to contend with, there were others laying about waiting for the Lions to finish up and move off, which looked like it would happen during the night. To me this sighting was Africa at it's finest. Out on the open plain with lions feeding on a large Buffalo kill, hyena's hanging all around, advancing and retreating tactically. If that were not enough a great number of vultures had gathered in the nearby trees completing the scene. Being a crisp, cold, overcast afternoon with the ever present threat of rain only added to the atmosphere. Truly a National Geographic moment and another to add to my all time top five.

It was only to get better though. We had pulled out of the sighting but while others watched, a large Mahlatini Male approached the kill across the open plains. From what was recounted to me, the adult female started to fight with him and chased him off, at the sign of his retreat the rest of the pride joined in and drove him to the outskirts of the clearing. Amazing how things have turned and they are no longer the one's being chased. The pride returned to within a hundred metres of the kill and lay down. The male eventually made his way to the kill, knowing his place, and started feeding on the hide and remaining scraps. What I heard next surprised me. While the Mahlatini Male fed the young male from the pride joined him and lay down very near him. There was no apparent aggression on either of their behalf. They pride eventually got mobile to the West leaving the Mahlatini Male to the remains. The young male however lingered and was last seen still in the company of one of his once arch nemesis.

So where does that leave us I hear you ask. Truth be told I have no idea! Things to consider though: 1. Where is the second adult female? As we presume the Mahlatini Male that showed up is the one that was mating with her a couple of days ago. 2. Where are the two brothers? And the biggie on everyone's minds. Will the Mahlatini Males join the White Pride, and will they allow it. A whole new can of questions has been opened which only time will be able to answer for both you and I.

We will be sure to keep you updated over the next couple of weeks and the upcoming months, as I'm sure this story has still a long way to go with undoubtedly many twists and turns.

I'll be taking a break from the blog for a short while but will be leaving you in the very capable hands of “ The Chad!” Hope you have enjoyed the stories from the past two weeks and thank you for all the positive comments and support!

Take care,



  1. What a great blog! Sounds like some exciting times are ahead! lets hope they all join and become a resident pride!

  2. Thank you so much Grant for sharing these wonderful weeks. Clients of mine, Cornelis family stayed with you the last couple of days. They must have had more then amazing days. Many thanks!

  3. Great update Grant, thanks for the last 2 weeks, it was great following the blog every day.
    Love the stab at Chad at the top about direction.
    Man, I think it would be GREAT if the Mahlatini Males join the white pride. Not only will it be great protection, I think they might be more settled then. Just my 2 cents. Can't wait to see what happens with them.


  4. Interesting times indeed. It was very nice to know that all three of the Sohebeles are back and I wonder if they remember that it was the Mahaltanis that wiped out their entire family?