Saturday, 13 August 2011

12th August: All Things Big And Small!

Pic of the Night!
Morning Drive.

( Chad, Godfrey, Grant, Marka & Chris.)

Leopard ( Kuhanya) / Motswari – Dave's Backyard.
Leopard ( Young Male) / Java – Terminalia.
Buffalo ( Dagha Boys) / Motswari – Wisani Crossing.
Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Mbali – Buffalo Kill.
Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Karans – Majambi Dam.

Afternoon Drive.

( Chad, Godfrey, Grant & Chris.)

Leopard ( Mom + Son & Daughter) / Java – Terminalia.
Buffalo ( Dagha Boys) / Motswari – Motswari Airstrip.
Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Peru – Peru Dam.

Daily Synopsis.

Greetings good ladies and gentleman, it's me Grant, back from a short sabbatical from the blog, hope you are all well and I trust Chad has kept you on the pulse of things, all be it a delayed one! Not to fear though CPR won't be necessary as I'll be taking over the blog for the next week allowing Chad a well deserved break!

So yes....................................................... The bush is still teeming with life, which is a great thing as we are extremely busy at the moment and it just makes our work, and I use that term loosely, that much easier.

Case in point was our drive this morning. While sitting at reception waiting on our guests arrival for morning drive we received a message from our camp manager Dave, that he had a Leopard walking passed his back door if we were interested. With all aboard we set off under the guidance of Dave to the Leopards location. Jacky and I headed to the North of Dave's place while Chad received permission, after checking that Dave was decent, to drive directly through his garden. While passing his place Chad mentioned that all he could see was a hand sticking out the window pointing in the Leopards direction of travel. Arriving simultaneously we located Kuhanya as she made her way into a deep drainage line below Dave's garden. Following her it became apparent she was in hunting mode and it was not long before she located a Steenbok that she began stalking. We sat there with her for some time as she patiently got herself into the correct position and gradually snuck up on her potential meal. Getting within twenty five metres she crouched down as the Steenbok began feeding in her direction. Unfortunately the Steenbok became aware of it's exposed position, out in a clearing, and trotted off to the cover of some nearby Mopane shrub. Undeterred Kuhanya repositioned and began the whole process again. This is were we left her as Marka was standing for his chance to view her. From what Chad recounted to me Kuhanya once again came very close but this time the proceedings were disturbed by a Hyena running in and chasing off the Steenbok. Resigning to the fact that breakfast would have to wait Kuhanya proceeded to walk around and mark her territory.

Hearing that they once again had Rhino in the West and a sighting of a Cheetah that was seen heading into our traversing area from Klaserie we decided to head in that direction. While others followed up on the Cheetah we decided we would try catch up on the Rhino. As we located fresh tracks we received another message that two relaxed Rhino's were found a little further South of us. Not knowing what our search would yield, we decided to choose the safer option of heading to this almost guaranteed sighting. It was also located very near were the Mafikizolo Lions had made their Buffalo kill and would fit in nicely to our plans.

After visiting the Rhino we decided to pop in at the Buffalo carcass, which the Lions had deserted earlier. There were however still many Hyena's in the area, along with a couple of Jackal and plenty of Vultures. It was a great sighting and it was fascinating to watch as the Hyena's, Jackals and Vultures interacted. It would appear that every drive for us of late, exposes something new and fascinating.

Chris and Godfrey also had themselves a busy drive. With Chris and Petros first finding the Mafikizolo Pride in the Tsharalumi Riverbed North of where they had made their kill. Unfortunately they are still a little shy of our presence during the daylight hours and they ran for the cover of the vegetation of the river's banks. Heading back to camp Chris and Petros then found a fresh drag mark that they followed up on and it was not long before they found a young male Leopard with his Duiker kill. He to was somewhat shy and ran off but sitting patiently at a distance he returned to his kill and offered up a good sighting for Chris and his guests. Godfrey found himself the only breeding herd of Elephant during morning drive, something we are hoping to catch up with on our drive this afternoon.

Afternoon drive did not quite go according to plan, but so is the way in the bush. Shortly after setting off we encounted a recurring problem from the morning drive which we thought we had fixed during the break between drives. Two days ago we came to a grinding holt in an Elephant sighting as the aluminium pipes into the diesel inter cooler was severed. Not a good thing with a full camp and more guests arriving in the afternoon. Taking it in our stride we applied bush mechanics and came up with a solution, back on the road. Well that was until the next day when we broke the rear right shock absorber. No problems, a little more bush mechanics and once again on the road. This brings us to this afternoons drive where not far from camp we came to our third grinding hold, damn Murphy! This time it was a combination of our shock breaking loose and severing our diesel lines but not to worry Dave to the rescue again and not before long he had us up and mobile. Replacing our vehicle and organising that Land Rover pay us a visit tomorrow to repair our poor Hlolwa. This now being the third indecent lets hope its the end of it.

As for drive we had a fantastic afternoon filled with all the smaller things that seemed to compliment our morning of four of the Big Five. The highlight being our sighting of two Honey Badgers that were trying to dig out a Brown Hooded Kingfisher from the safety of his burrow in a sand wall alongside the road. They were so engrossed in what they were doing they did not even notice us and went about their business, providing us with my sighting of the month so far. Adding to this we saw Bush Babies, African Wildcat and a Chameleon to round off our evening. Oh, not to forget our great sighting of a Verruex's Eagle Owl.

As for the others out and about, they visited the sight of Chris's Leopard kill where they now found three Leopards. They were not that relaxed and had to be viewed at a distance through pretty thick bush. None the less it is great to see that these three new Leopards are making themselves at home in our central traversing area. There was also a nice sighting of a breeding herd of Elephant below Peru Dam Wall.

I wonder what tomorrow will hold, lets hope its not more car problems.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Grant, welcome back to the blog! I sent you an email via the lodge... Let me know if there is a better way to reach you. Cheers, Linda