Monday, 8 August 2011

06th August – Grant on Form

Photo of the Day
Morning Drive
(Chad, Grant, Godfrey and Herold)
11 x lions (Machaton Pride – 3 lionesses and 8 cubs with buffalo kill) – Tanda Tula, Sunset Rd
1 x leopard (Kuhanya female killed impala) – De Luca, Drongo Drive
1 x leopard (Nthombi female) – Jaydee, Nkombi Pan
2 x rhino
1 x breeding herd of buffalo – Motswari, Wedge River Rd
1 x breeding herd of buffalo – Karans, Corkwood Drive

Afternoon Drive
(Chad, Grant, Godfrey and Herold)
1 x leopard (Kuhanya female killed impala) – De Luca, Drongo Drive
2x rhino
1 x breeding herd of buffalo – De Luca, Drongo Drive
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Vielmetter, Nyosi River Rd
2 x elephant bulls – Motswari, Xinatsi Dam Rd North

Daily Synopsis
Saturday started out as a windy morning, and we all went out there not expecting to see a great deal, and if it wasn't for Grant, maybe we wouldn’t have!
There was not a lot of game about to begin with, mostly just sightings of impala and waterbuck for me, although seeing them all out on Piva Plains was quite a nice sighting! 

As I headed towards the Nhlaralumi, things started to pick up a wee bit, and we saw hippos, more impala, a nice herd of male giraffes and the usual steenbuck from time to time.

Grant was heading south to go and see the Machaton lions that were still on their buffalo kill on Tanda Tala, but rather than just racing there, he took his time, and when he saw some fresh rhino tracks, followed up for a short while – “short”, not because he lost interest, but rather because he soon found them – two relaxed individuals that were walking about feeding on some grass.
Nobody else showed any interest, and I decided to head into that area to follow up after Grant had left, hoping more to fins some elephants than rhinos.  There were lots of signs of elephants, like the big tree I was cutting back off the road, only to return to my Land Rover to hear Grant calling me frantically as he had found Nthombi leopardess at Nkombi Pan, and need to leave her to go and see the lions.  As I wasn't far off, and as she was heading straight for Argyle Rd and our western boundary, I rushed over there, and luckily arrived in time to see her.

Being a female leopard though, she soon changed course and we followed her as she walked a bit circle, almost ending up back at Nkombi Pan! 

She was quite active, scent marking and just walking about looking beautiful.  We later left her unattended, only to hear that in the afternoon, she was seen heading into Tanda Tula, many, many kilometres away – that girl can walk!

Nthombi - her usual, active self
Grant eventually got to his lions, but I took it easy and headed past Makulu Dam for coffee before returning to the lodge.  We saw many waterbuck and impala there, as well as hippos, but not much else. 

In the afternoon, I received new guests, and they were guests that had come to visit the lodge based purely on the blog; as a result, Bronwyn ha her own “wish list”, that included Kuhanya leopardess, Argyle male leopard and the white lions!
As nobody had checked on Kuhanya, I did pop in to check on her status after breakfast, and knew that she was still there with her kill.  This took some pressure off me, and I headed out with the new guests knowing that at least I could tick off one of their wishes!
I headed straight over to Kuhanya at the start of the drive and found her resting in the open near her kill, that she still hadn’t taken up a tree!
She was not overly active, and in the miserable conditions, you couldn’t blame her!

Leaving her, I decided to follow up on herd of buffalos that Herold had found near the camp in the morning.  It didn’t take long to find the tracks, and we soon found the large breeding herd of buffalo making their way to the north, towards the empty Mpela-pela Pan.  It was great to just sit and watch as this herd of easily 300-plus buffalo moved in a steady stream past us.

Large breeding herd of buffalo

Carrying on with the drive, we managed to relocate two elephant bulls that Godfrey had seen near the lodge earlier in the afternoon, and then headed over to Lover’s Leap for a drink.  After dark, we did see our first impalas, but there was not much to speak of besides that, and we returned to the camp for a warm shower and a hearty meal.
I also met my new guests that were only staying for one night, but had decided to rather just chill and rest in camp in the afternoon – so tomorrow morning I will only have them for one drive, so let’s see what we can pressure Chad J


  1. Awesome picture Chad... wanna learn direct to You :-)

    regards, oryza

  2. Seems my wish list was not that difficult to fulfil! Thank you guys for the wonderful weekend!

    Must say, was quite a sneaky tactic to not find Argyle Male purely to lure me back! Worked though!

    See you in the summer!