Tuesday, 16 August 2011

15th August: High Winds.

Pic of the Day.
Morning Drive.

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

Leopard ( Mbali) / Java – Sjambok Pod.
Buffalo ( Breeding Herd) / Karans – Top Rd West.
Buffalo ( Dagha Boy) / Motswari – Motswari Dam.
Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Vielmieter – Blue Thorn Rd.
Elephant ( Kambaku's) / Motswari – Trade Entrance Pan.

Afternoon Drive.

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

Buffalo ( Breeding Herd) / Karans – Kudu Pan Rd North.
Leopard ( Madzinyo male) / Peru – Hippo Rocky Rd.
Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / JayDee – Makulu Rd.
Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / JayDee – Ndlophu Rd.

Daily Synopsis.

There is not much to say about this mornings drive apart from it being cold and very windy. There were a number of sightings out there but they were few and far in between. We were on a mission to find Rhino, not the most ideal conditions for that adventure, but we none the less took a chance that we may find something in the West. Along the way we found tracks for a large single male Rhino very close to Motswari. Following up for a short while we decided that it more than likely was a long way away by now and should we expend the time and effort in looking for it, we more than likely find a very skittish Rhino that we would not be able to view anyway. We therefore reverted to our original plan to head West and try find one of our more relaxed Rhino's.

While we spent time in the West the others headed to the East where they found themselves a nice breeding herd of Buffalo. They then proceeded to head South to check up on Mbali and her Sharpes Grysbok kill. The kill was still securely up in the tree but initially Mbali was no were to be found. After a little investigation she was found lying to the North of the kill at the base of some bushes sheltering from the wind. I know certainly would not have liked to spend any time up in a tree this morning! Following the Leopard there was a nice breeding herd of Elephant not far away that some of the guys visited. This rounded off a nice fluid drive for them.

Ours on the other hand was one of much frustration with us heading backwards and forwards around the central Western section. We picked up on tracks for two Rhino that we thought had walked in the area early the night before. This left us with a lot of catching up to do! As we worked our way South East we slowly caught up with the tracks looking fresher and fresher. Maybe we would get lucky after all. Things were looking good right up until we were driving a road that is not often driven and suddenly there in front of us were a multitude of Rhino tracks. These headed in all directions leaving us with a massive puzzle to solve. Working through it we eventually thought they had kept heading East but now had changed direction slightly back to the North. This had taken us some time to figure out and unfortunately left us with no time to follow up. So it is back to square one on this afternoons drive as we will once again try to catch up.

Conditions for afternoon drive did not improve much, truth be told they became worse and we set off with the ever present threat of rain. Well if nothing went to plan at least we still had Mbali with her kill on Java to rescue an uneventful afternoon. We once again set off in the direction of where we left our Rhino tracks from the morning but soon realised on the way that we would be wasting our time as the ground was now so wind swept tracks were near impossible to see. We kept heading South though as a breeding herd of Elephant had been found around Makulu Dam. It would also fit into the route to Mbali nicely. We located the herd and found a number of youngsters in amongst it that were extremely relaxed and would approach the vehicle within metres. Naturally where the youngsters are mom is never far behind and at one stage we could reach out and touch an Elephant from any side of the vehicle. It was amazing to see how relaxed the herd was especially with so many youngsters present. Needless to say we spent the rest of our afternoon with them, specially after the news that Mbali and her kill could not be relocated.

While we spent our time with the Elephant a majority of the Motswari stations visited a very relaxed male Leopard that had popped up in the North. Turning to Chad to identify this newcomer it was not long before he identified him as a youngish male from Ingwelala. This would not have been that far from his territory had he been from the South West section of Ingwelala but apparently his territory is in the far North East, a very long, long way away. It's great how the bush can spring a surprise everyday and the guys got to enjoy a good sighting of this new visitor to our area.

Shortly before we all started to stop for our drinks break, I call it that as opposed to sundowners as there was certainly no sun, it began to rain. Combined with the wind and cold it had us all heading for home early.

Lets hope the weather improves tomorrow and if not the least we deserve is something that resembles a Lion!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Do you have new lens?
    Your photos look stunning!