Monday, 22 August 2011

21st August – Sohebele Male Lions visit the Camp!

Photo of the Day
Young Sohebele male lion near the camp

Morning Drive
(Chad, Grant and Herold)
3 x lions (Sohebele males) – Motswari, Trough Rd
2 x elephant bulls – Motswari, Airstrip

Afternoon Drive
(Grant and Herold)
1 x breeding herd of buffalo – Kings, Rockfig Pan
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Peru, Long Rd
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Mbali, Woza-Woza Cutline
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Vielmetter, Dizzy Drive

Daily Synopsis
Its never nice being woken up before your alarm...but in this case, I didn’t mind, and when I heard the camp monkeys chattering like crazy at 5am, I knew that the leopards were likely still in camp, and that is always a reason to be cheerful! 
Joining the guests for coffee at 6am, I stood scanning the bush for the leopards that were still causing the monkeys to alarm call, but saw nothing.  Together, we decided to check the area first before going to look for rhinos.  Herold went via Wisani crossing while Grant went via the airstrip.  I waited for my guests!  Not a minute later Grant went driving off in the direction that Herold had gone, and I knew he had found the cause of the disturbance!
Eventually my guests arrived and I headed off, getting hold of Herold and asking which leopard he had found.  His answers confused me, as did Grant’s...I soon realised it wasn't a leopard they had...and I did actually think it was a cheetah based on their cryptic clues!  Either way, I raced around to the front of the camp, and as I approached, out popped the cause of the alarm calls...the three Sohebele male lions!  They had been sleeping in the clearing less than 100m from the verandah and none of us had seen them!

Three Sohebele Brothers!
They got up and mobile to the west, but went static on a termite mound and we enjoyed photographing these gorgeous boys.  They looked a bit on the lean side, but in good condition by their standards.

Great to have these boys back!
After some time, they got up and carried on west, and we gave the other stations a chance before they crossed into Ingwelala.
After that, the morning had a lot to live up to, but sadly failed.  Another hyena on the airstrip, some elephant bulls there too as well as a herd of giraffes were ticked off, but once off Motswari property, we saw nothing the rest of the drive bar one herd of kudus!  I didn’t mind, as we were looking for rhino in the east, and I always felt that there was this anticipation of rounding a corner and finding what we were after...sadly it wasn't to be, and we never did find the rhino...which is strange as it has been one of the easiest of the Big 5 for us to see of late! 

Elephant and nyala bulls near the camp
I finished drive, and only Grant and Herold went out in the afternoon, and while they didn’t see the cats, they did find the larger herbivores – a large breeding herd of buffalo in the south, and three different breeding herds of elephant scattered across the reserve. 

Steenbuck and giraffe
I will be back on drive tomorrow afternoon, and shall update you on all the happenings then...enjoy the week J


  1. Stunning photos as ever Chad. Those lions although a bit lean are so handsome!

    Thanks for a great update.

  2. Thanks so much for the photos of my FAVORITE ONE'S. They look great! I'm glad they stick around.

  3. So many great pictures there Chad but love the close up of the Elephant trunk and the black & White photo.
    Sleeping with those boys only 100 yards away...WOW, bet there was a large intake of breath when you realised.