Wednesday, 17 August 2011

16th August: Only Mad Dogs & Englishman!

Pic of the Day.

Morning Drive.

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

Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Peru – Woza Woza Cutline.

Afternoon Drive.

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

Elephant ( Kambaku) / Motswari – Motswari Airstrip.
Elephant ( Kambaku's) / Peru – Giraffe Kill Lookout.
Leopard ( Young Male) / Mbali – Woza Woza Cutline.
Rhino ( Rose & Maria)

Daily Synopsis.

If I did not have much to say about yesterdays drives I've less to say about this mornings. Waking to the sound of rain dripping from the thatch and looking out the window into near pitch blackness with the only light being reflected off the many puddles outside, it did not bode well for finding animals. Checking the rain gauge we received 14ml during the night. Morning coffee was a sombre affair with the ever present debate of should we, shouldn't we. Eventually deciding to brave the elements we set off. It was not long though before nature let us know that we had made the wrong decision.  

With it being extremely cold, violently windy and miserably wet we persevered not wanting to succumb to better judgement. Slowly but surely it won over though as conditions deteriorated and nothing was being found the guys started to fade thick and fast seeking the shelter and comfort of their respective lodges. As it stands now, things could only get better this afternoon!

Afternoon drive started in far better conditions and although there was a stiff chilly breeze blowing there were odd bouts of sunshine here and there. Having new guests we set off looking for anything and everything, basically taking things as they came and under no pressure.

We started with a nice sighting of Proud, a large Bull Elephant, that has been spending time in and around Motswari. I guess he too was seeking the shelter of the camp.

As many of the Motswari stations responded to a sighting of a young male Leopard, we chose to look for general game in and around Argyle and Sohobele Dams. Hearing that the youngster was not that relaxed and kept moving off at every approach we made the right decision. When two Rhino were called in though we decided to respond as they have become quiet scarce since the deterioration of the weather. Arriving at the sighting they were to be found feeding along the Tsharalumi river bank, in and out of the thick vegetation and thus not offering up a fantastic sighting, well for photography that is. Spending some quality time and getting a good view we decided to head off for sundowners so others could view them before sunset.

After drinks we decided to try our luck in the area they last had the young Leopard. Telling Chad of my plans he advised me to check Tawny Eagle Road, which I promptly agreed was a good idea and headed off in its direction. Slowly checking the area we found him milling about the road sniffing the area. I contacted Chad to thank him for his suggestion, to which he replied that he should start following his own advise. It was only later when I was trying to direct Petros to the sighting and him being unable to find me, that I had taken the wrong road. I was in fact on Nhlaru road and not Tawny Eagle. I thought it strange Chad would get it right! None the less we had a great sighting of this very relaxed young male who showed none of his shy behaviour from the afternoon. I guess under the light he is far more confident and to prove it he eventually settled and went to sleep in amongst some long grass less than ten metres from the car.

Amazing how the bush can turn around from one drive to the next, with this afternoons drive being worlds apart from the morning. Lets hope the weather continues to improve.

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