Sunday, 14 August 2011

13th August: The Herds.

Pic of the Day.
Morning Drive.

( Chad, Godfrey, Grant & Chris.)

Buffalo ( Dagha Boy) / Karans – Western Cutline.
Buffalo ( Dagha Boy) / Motswari – Motswari Wedge Road.
Buffalo ( Breeding Herd) / Java – Back of Java.
Elephant ( Kambaku) / Motswari – Xinatsi Dam Rd North.
Elephant ( 4 x Kambaku's) / Motswari – Motswari Southern Access.

Afternoon Drive.

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

Leopard ( Khlakiso Female & Brother.) / Mbali – Buffalo Kill.
Buffalo ( Breeding Herd) / Vielmieter – Entrance Dam.
Buffalo ( Breeding Herd) / DeLuca – Argyle Rd.
Buffalo ( Breeding Herd) / Karans – Majambi Dam.
Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Vielmieter – Double Highway.
Elephant ( Kambaku's) / Motswari – Xinatsi Dam.
Rhino ( Male, Female & Young)

Daily Synopsis.

Waking to the anticipation of a brand new day and all it may hold in store we all set off hoping that it would hold Lion in store. Having not been to the South of our traversing area in some time we decided that we would head in that direction. They had found a large breeding herd of Buffalo the evening before that if we were lucky we could follow up on. Our morning was a relaxed affair and held no fireworks like the day before we did however manage to locate on the breeding herd of Buffalo which at first looked like it was about 250 strong but after spending time with them we realised there were at least double that. It was an extremely impressive sighting and as it was not that busy we were able to spend some quality time in amongst the herd. The rest of morning was to be fairly quiet with us only finding general game here and there.

Chris once again located on his Leopards this time in the Tsharalumi River. Unfortunately without their kill to keep them based they moved off into the river where Chris eventually lost them. The guys that stayed up North had themselves a fairly busy morning filled with sightings of large game and other general stuff. Covering both North and South it still unfortunately did not yield what we were really after, and with the temperature rising sharply I do not hold out much hope for cats before sunset but there should be plenty activity around the water. We wait and see.

The afternoon was to see the return of Hlolwa, our vehicle, unfortunately Land Rover brought the wrong parts and were unable to fix her. Lucky for us though Tanda Tula once again came to our rescue and loaned us their spare vehicle, Shorty, for the weekend.

So heading out on drive, as opposed to our other option of a very long walk, we were once again in search of Lion. Jacky and I started by checking the dams in the area thinking the afternoons heat would have the animals heading for water. Apparently not, and apart from a few Waterbuck and a family of Egyptian Geese it was rather quiet.

Undeterred we pushed on and it was not long before we got the good news that Lion tracks had been found a little to the East of us. Heading directly there as daylight hours were disappearing we were keen to get Jacky on foot and following up, while we checked the roads in the area. The tracks were steadily heading to the North but would criss cross from East to West either side of the riverbed. Checking the roads further North we came up with nothing, so the Lions must be between Jacky and ourselves. This was confirmed when we found a massive herd of Buffalo crossing our Northern boundary out of our traversing area. The Lions must be following the herd. We unfortunately had to pull the trackers from the tracks as the light failed us and the fact that their were a number of restless Buffalo in the area, aware of the Lions on their trail. We took drinks on our Northern boundary hoping to get lucky after dark. Following the path that the Buffalo had walked we travelled back to the South hoping to bump into the Lions. It would appear luck was not to be on our side as we found no trace of them and we think they still may have been resting in the riverbed biding their time waiting for the right opportunity to make a move.

While some of us stayed in the North others headed South to view the incredibly big herd of Buffalo that we had seen in the morning. It was a double bonus for them as not only did they get to see the Buffalo out in the open around Entrance Dam, but there was also a nice herd of Elephant nearby as well. It was only Chris who got a glimpse of two Leopards in the Tsharalumi River who he thinks are the same Leopards as he found the day before. With the rest of us being cat-less the entire day and now needing Lion on the last drive for many of our guests tomorrow, the pressure is on!

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