Photo of the Day
|Kuhanya on the prowl|
(Chad and Godfrey)
1 x leopard (Kuhanya female) – Motswari, Xinatsi Dam Rd North (on bush walk)
9 x hyenas with kudu kill – Argyle, Buffalo Pan
1 x breeding herd of buffalo – Mbali, Windy Way
1 x elephant bull – Argyle, Argyle Dam Link
1 x elephant bull – Motswari, Airstrip
(Chad, Godfrey and Herold)
1 x leopard (Kuhanya female killed impala) – De Luca, Drongo Drive
1 x breeding herd of buffalo – Peru, Xinzele Rd
I joke a lot about being bad luck. Some days, like today, it is not even funny! But more on that a bit later J
Thursday was another pleasant day in the bush, and I generally just took it easy. My guests were checking out, and had seen most of the animals they wanted, so anything now was a bonus.
The drive started off with some impala, giraffe north of camp, but none of the leopards that I hoped would show themselves after an extended absence!
Something that did pique my interest was the Xinatsi Hyena Clan had been found with a large kudu kill near Buffalo Pan, so I headed over to see them.
|Xinatsi Hyena Clan on a kudu kill|
It turned out to be a great sighting as the clan slowly ate the remains of the kudu, and piece by piece the carcass was dismantled!
|Great strength as they moved the carcass around|
It was interesting to watch the interactions of the hierarchy at play, and how one low ranking (I assume male) hyena was chased off the carcass by one extremely fat (full and pregnant) female whenever he went near for a snack!
|Chasing a subordinate hyena away from the kill|
Yet a lone cub could go and eat at the same carcass with no fear of rebuttal from the dominant female.
|Feeding on the kill|
After a long while, we left them and ambled down towards Sohebele Dam for coffee, half-hoping that the large breeding herd of buffalo from the east would pitch up there, as they were now on Mbali Property.
|Impalas and waterbuck|
Sadly they didn’t, but we enjoyed the company of some hippos and small crocodiles instead. Nearer to Argyle Dam, we found impala, a nice herd of waterbuck, a herd of kudus and some giraffe, while on the airstrip, we had two separate lone elephant bulls feeding before we closed down at the camp.
|Elephant and impalas|
Godfrey and his guests had an exciting walk when they walking into Kuhanya female leopard sleeping up a marula tree and had a fabulous sighting of her on foot!
This was something for Herold and I to follow up on in the afternoon, and well, having Herold help me, I should never have been in doubt.
Both he and I had new guests, and began searching. He found fresh tracks but nothing coming out of one block, but intuitively checked one more block and found tracks on the road. I was heading into the area to help him when he and Difference jumped off the car to see where the tracks went. Well, as I happens, the tracks only went about 5m, and then stopped. Why? Because that is where Kuhanya was lying flat in the grass, and neither of them had seen her until she jumped up and ran off!
They called me, and I went to join them, and as we were following her, she spotted some impalas. We then notified the other guides, and carried on watching as she calculated her approach to the impalas, and ran a big circle ahead of them. She was some distance off, and knowing how long she can take, I told Godfrey to come to the sighting, I would make a space for him. Then she ran off, and I had to go and relocate instead of seeming like a “Dodgy” guide that leaves a sighting only when visual is lost.
|Kuhanya preparing for the hunt|
I relocated, but she was very close when I found her, watching the impalas that were coming towards her. As Godfrey was already coming in, and thinking that the impalas wouldn’t come near her if I was where I was, I reluctantly pulled out. But I honestly didn’t think she had a chance.
I took a wide circle around the impalas, so as not to scare them off, or towards the leopard, and told Godfrey to come join Herold. Bad move. Not two minutes later Herold radioed me with a laugh in his voice. I knew what was coming. Kuhanya had killed a young male impala right in front of him right where I had left her!!!!!!
I was bleak, but that is the way of the bush, and I am just glad that the other guests got to see it...although after only 45 minutes on their first safari, I think it highly unfair, as I have been waiting for 4.5 years to see that!!!! Hahaha. Next time I hope J
Anyway, sulking over, I carried on and after finding a small herd of zebras, I relocated on that large breeding herd of buffalo that fed near the now-empty Madash Dam. After a bit of time with them, I headed to Klipdrift Crossing for a drink and enjoyed it with hippos and a crocodile.
|Herds of zebra and buffalo|
I headed home, and heard that Mbali female leopard had been seen near Sohebele Dam, but had no luck in that area when I drove there. In fact, it was a bit quiet all around ad as it was getting quite chilly again, we headed back to camp.
Never thought I would be upset to see my Kuhanya! Hahahaha, but I guess at least I have something to look forward to in the morning when I take out two new guests that missed out on the afternoon drive.