Wednesday, 3 August 2011

01st August – Argyle Male Leopard Loses Kill

Photo of the Day
Argyle male leopard
Morning Drive
(Chad, Marka and Herold)
1 x leopard (Argyle male) – Motswari, Sharalumi Link North
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Motswari, Sharalumi Link East
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Scholtz – Borneo-Scholtz Cutline
1 x elephant bull – De Luca, De Luca Access
1 x elephant bull – Peru, Western Cutline
1 x buffalo bull – Motswari, Sharalumi Link East

Afternoon Drive
(Chad, Marka and Herold)
1 x breeding herd of buffalo – Scholtz, Mananga Cutline
1 x breeding herd of buffalo – Karans, Top Rd East
1 x buffalo bull – Karans, Majambi Dam
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Argyle, Long Rd

Daily Synopsis
Waking up to a new day, and a new month, it was exciting to get out there in the first morning light to go and follow up on the ever-impressive Argyle male leopard and his warthog kill near the camp.
Starting off checking the airstrip, we found a small herd of giraffe, and spent some time with them, but wanting to make the most of the gorgeous light, I apologised to the guests and we continued north to where the leopard had been with the kill the day before.
Giraffe herd
Arrive there, we couldn’t see him in the marula he had had his kill, instead he was about 30m away at the top of a small marula tree with two hyenas beneath him!  It was the most amazing light, and with the dark blue clouds behind, made for a great setting...the only thing missing, quite literally, was his kill!

Treed leopard
He must have dropped it out of the tree, and the hyenas would have opportunistically gobbled it up!  Disappointed, especially as I was getting new guests in the afternoon, I brushed that aside and enjoyed the sighting for what it was – one amazing leopard in equally amazing light!

Hyena and Argyle male
After the hyenas lost interest and wandered off, the leopard came down the tree and headed south, but then turned west, and towards the Ingwelala boundary, so I quickly called Herold in to allow him time to see the leopard before he crossed off.

Back to territorial patrols
After that, we didn’t have to travel all that far before joining Johannes with a nice breeding herd of elephants, and a bit further down the road, there was a lone buffalo bull.
Breeding herd of elephants
I decided to head east, and went to check around Kudu Pan and Majambi Dam, especially as Marka had lion tracks heading towards the latter.  Sadly though, the tracks went to the water, drank, and then headed back east into the Kruger National Park, a possible indication that the lions had a kill there.  From the variety of track sizes, it appeared to be the Mafikizolo Pride, although they had been reported at Scholtz Big Dam the night before!  This pride sure can walk!
Carrying along the open areas of the east, we found some nice warthogs, impala and a herd of zebras before checking Sohebele Dam, Argyle Dam and heading back to camp.

Warthogs, zebra and guineafowl
I departed late for afternoon drive, as my new guests arrived a bit late, and as a result, I just bumbled about in the north.  There was a nice breeding herd of elephants west of the airstrip that we spent time with, as well as some nice birds and the usual impala and steenbok.

Elephant herd
Heading to Motswari Wedge, just to check that Argyle male hadn’t returned looking for his kill, we found ourselves more impala, a giraffe and then a lone hyena. 

Spotted hyena
Where the kill had been, there were fresh tracks for a male leopard, we think Vyeboom Dam male, that headed north, but we too tracked those into Ingwelala, and based on the alarm calls from a nearby flock of guineafowl, he was not far off!
After a nice sundowner drink, we bumbled about in the north, hoping to find one of our leopards, but we only managed to tick off another hyena and one African wild cat before closing down.
I have more guests joining in the morning, so let us hope that it bring with it some more wonderful sightings!

1 comment:

  1. Lovely shots in great light of Argyle male Chad!!

    Hopefully the lions return for you and your guests :-)