Friday, 19 August 2011

18th August: Rhinomania.

Pic of the Day.
Morning Drive.

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

Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Java – Buffalo Kill.
Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / JayDee – Ndlophu Rd.
Rhino ( 2 x Unknown)
Leopard ( Argyle Female) / Peru – Old Gate Link.

Afternoon Drive.

( Chad, Grant & Herald.)

Elephant ( Kambaku's) / Argyle – Xinatsi Dam Rd West.
Rhino ( Tshangula Male)
Buffalo ( Dagha Boys) / Peru – Mhlowa Clearing.

Daily Synopsis.

Still needing Giraffe to complete my guests Christmas List we headed to the South into an area of renowned general game. We were also after Hyena but they have become rather scarce of late and the Xinatsi clan that used to hang around Motswari we think has moved off to den elsewhere as the last time we saw the matriarch she was heavily pregnant. On our way South we received a bonus find in the form of a large herd of Wildebeest that have come to frequenting the area around the two Java airstrips. Arriving in the South we received a call from Petros informing us that he had found a nice herd of Bull Giraffe in our Central section. As it was our guests last drive we did not want to take the chance of missing out and turned around and headed a little way back to the North. It was worth the trip as we found them all standing out in the open next to the road.

After securing Giraffe we were able to spend the rest of our morning as we wished. As there was a sighting of Elephant nearby we decided to head in their direction as you can never go wrong with a Elephant.  

Spending some time with the herd we decided that we would head off and visit the two Rhino Chad had found after some extensive tracking. I heard him call in the tracks and in the same breath he mentioned that he had now found them, I guess he must have lifted up his head. Popping in on our way home we found them out in a clearing looking as if they were about to fall asleep and I'm pretty sure after we left they more than likely sat down and did just that.

Other than missing out on Hyena our guests saw everything they wanted and more, and as if to wish them well their favourite animal, the Zebra, waited for them on the airstrip as we headed back to camp.

Receiving new guests this afternoon it all starts again and we can only hope that we are as lucky as we have been over the past few days.

Our afternoon was a relaxed affair as we received new guests who are staying a few nights, so there was no need to rush into things. We decided to check around the dams of Argyle and Sohobele pick up on some general game and maybe an Elephant or two. It was not long before we found ourselves two Elephant Bulls who were going about their business of feeding. Truth be told it was not a fantastic sighting as they were in a particular dense thicket of Purple Pod Cluster Leaves. Promising our guests a better sighting we moved on to the dams. There was a lot of general game to be found around the dams and we spent a lot of time chatting about Waterbuck, Kudu, Impala, Zebra, Sharpe's Grysbok, Steenbok, Crocodiles and Hippo's, which we were fortunate enough to see basking out in the sun at Sohobele Dam.  

While we spent our time with all of the above we received news that they had found Tshangula, a particularly large male Rhino, a little to the West of us. Deciding this would be a great introduction to the Big Five we headed in his direction. We were very fortunate with him as he was in a nice open area feeding. With not many vehicles responding to the sighting we took the opportunity to spend the rest of our afternoon with him as he went about feeding around the vehicle. It's the first time that I've really noticed how large his horn actually is, he is one fine specimen!

Heading to a nearby dam for sundowners we intended to visit Argyle Female with her kill after dark when she is far more relaxed with our presence. Arriving at the site of the Impala in the Mopane Tree she was no where to be found, this is very peculiar, specially as she has been very relaxed while being viewed during the day and at night even more so. We believe she must have had a negative human experience and now shys away from our presence. Given time lets hope we can win back her trust but for the mean time we left the area so she could relax and return to her kill with out the pressure of our presence.

Ending our game drive with sightings of a White Tailed Mongoose, Bush Baby's and a Genet wrapped up a pretty successful afternoon.

I'll be handing over the blog to “ The Chad” for the next two weeks, one of which I'll be on leave, so wanted thank you all for following the blog and we catch you in a fortnight.  

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