Wednesday, 10 August 2011

08th August – White Lions Stay the Night!

Photo of the Day
Steenbuck mother and fawn
Morning Drive
(Chad, Grant, Godfrey and Herold)
5 x lions (Xakubasa Pride – 2 lionesses, 2 white lionesses and 1 young male) – Mbali, Hawk Eagle West
1 x breeding herd of buffalo – Karans, Western Cutline
7 x elephant bulls – Argyle, Argyle Rd
2 x elephant bulls – Peru, Peru Entrance
2 x elephant bulls – Motswari, Airstrip
1 x elephant bull – Motswari, Airstrip

Afternoon Drive
(Chad, Grant, Godfrey and Herold)
5 x lions (Xakubasa Pride – 2 lionesses, 2 white lionesses and 1 young male) – Mbali, Hawk Eagle West
11 x lions (Machaton Pride – 3 lionesses and 8 cubs) – Tanda Tula, Sunset Rd
1 x leopard (Rockfig Jnr female with impalakill) – Kings, Ridge Rd
1 x breeding herd of buffalo – Mbali, Western Cutline
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Jaydee, Makulu Rd

Daily Synopsis
The weather was a lot better today, so we all felt really positive about the day ahead.  While it was not our guides intentions to find the White Pride this morning, as we all got to see them yesterday, they moved onto a property that only Kings and Motswari have full traversing on, and Herold and Grant gave the King’s station a hand in tracking them down – would also mean something for our new guests to see in the afternoon if they were to get lucky.
Needless to say, it didn’t take long, and Herold soon found the lions, but as his guests had already seen them, he pulled out as soon as the first King’s station arrived.  The pride were covered in blood and had no doubt just finished a small meal.
Kuhanya leopardess had eventually finished her kill and moved off, but nobody attempted to track her.  We did all get to see a large breeding herd of buffalos not far from the lions.

Breeding herd of buffalo
Seeing as all of the elephants seemed to have mysteriously disappeared, I headed out to the western boundary where a group of elephant bulls had been seen.  Sadly though, both Herold and I arrived too late, and they crossed into Klaserie and disappeared.
It was only slightly annoying then, to hear that Godfrey also found a couple of elephant bulls on Motswari Airstrip when we had travelled all the way to the east!
We then made our way over to them and enjoyed a sighting of the large collared bull that has been in the area for some time. 
After viewing him for a while, we headed back to camp, but despite the wonderful weather, the general game was not overly cooperative this morning – besides the several giraffes that I saw in the east...and typical, I had told my guests that we don’t often see giraffes on that side of the reserve due to all the mopane trees; we saw three giraffe sightings there this morning!
The afternoon was chilled, and revolved around my plan to go and spend time with the white lions in the evening.  Bumbling about in the north, we didn’t have a great deal of luck with game (bar more giraffe and impala), except around Argyle Dam.
There we found a herd of over 25 waterbuck, a nice herd of giraffes, a herd of zebras, a massive crocodile, two saddle-billed storks, and impalas.

Giraffe, waterbuck and impala around Argyle Dam
I then went to Mbali Dam for an enjoyable sundowner with the local hippo pod, some more big crocodiles, and a glorious sunset.
Heading to the lions after dark, we arrived at what I was hoping would be the right time for them to get active.  When the nearby buffalo herd started to bellow, and the lions sat up, I thought that we might just be in for some action.  I was wrong, and they soon flopped over and went back to sleep.  Only two of the lions got up and walked over to reposition themselves and we left them in peace.
On the way home, we bumped into that buffalo herd, but there was not much else out.
Herold had a great afternoon, and he passed on the white lions.  Instead he got to see a nice big breeding herd of elephants near Makulu Dam, as then went to Kings to see Rockfig Jnr female leopard and her impala kill.  As he was in the south, he also got invited to go and see the Machaton Pride that were just a bit further north from their now-finished buffalo kill.
Grant also had a surprise when he got home!  His fridge had been moved.  Well, it had been moved back to his room at least.  So what is so interesting about that?  Well, a bit earlier in the evening, it had been moved out of his room!  Yip, a hyena had walked into his living room (admittedly, he does leave his front door open!) and grabbed the bar fridge, ripped it out of the wall and started walking off into the bush with it!!!  I can just imagine if Eugenia hadn’t stopped it, and driving down the road and coming across a hyena walking through the bush with a bar fridge...I might just have wet myself with laughter!
So that was the day.  Not a bad one, and it’s just great to have lions in the north again...even if they do very little – maybe tomorrow they will decide to put on a show for us!
*as my photos were so poor today, here is a collection of some other shots from last month that i never got to post on the blog*


Baboons at Argyle Dam


impala ram


nyala bull and ewe

warthogs and lilies

giraffe bull

moon rising

impalas all staring intently... the leopard the impalas had seen..

...master of camouflage!

mbali female

rising moon

dwarf monoogses

rockfig jnr


elephant bull

zebra herd

nhlangula male

impala on piva plains

zebra and impalas

elephant bulls feeding near the land rover


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