Sunday, 28 August 2011

25th August – Where are the Cats?

Photo of the Day
Elephant calf
Morning Drive
(Chad and Herold)
1 x rhino (Nhlangula male)
2 x rhino (2 relaxed females)
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Mbali, Buffalo Kill Rd

Afternoon Drive
(Chad and Herold)
1 x rhino (relaxed male)
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Vielmetter, Back 9’s West

Daily Synopsis
I’m stretching my brains ability to recall now, but I will give it a go to recount my day’s sightings; but as can be seen from the lists above, it was not a busy day by any stretch of the imagination!
As usual, I started off the morning checking in the north for leopards, but had no such luck in finding any of them.  In fact the only spots I did find were on giraffe, and there were many of them around today!  Even the audio of lions that the guides had heard didnt even produce a single track to follow up on!
I made my way over to the kudu carcass where I had heard that nine members of the Xinatsi hyena clan had arrived to feed, but when I pulled in to the sighting, only four pack members were there, and our skew-lipped male from last night was still stuffing his face!

Hyenas eating a kudu
Hearing that Nhlangula male rhino had been found again, and seeing as there was not much going on elsewhere, I headed over in his direction finding impala, duiker, steenbuck and giraffe on the way.
Giraffe herd as the clouds moved in
I was nearing the sighting when Herold called me to tell me not to waste my time, and to rather come to his side where he had found another two relaxed female rhinos – as I was closer, I did just that!
It was an enjoyable sighting, and amazing to see how relaxed our new comers are – let’s hope that they stay!

White rhinos
Heading back to camp after breakfast didn’t produce much excitement, but we did enjoy some nice waterbuck herds, baby crocodiles and a wonderful sighting of herd of giraffe bulls that had two pairs of males fighting – it is always a great scene to behold as they try and whack one another with their long necks!

Waterbuck and giraffe
In the afternoon, I decided to go south seeing as the cats in the north were not playing along.  I checked a bit in the east following reports of lions calling there this morning, but had no luck.  Even further south on Scholtz, where the Mafikizolo Pride had been roaring in the morning, there was no sign of them, and I decided to head to the only sighting that was about – a breeding herd of elephants near Entrance Dam.
We saw impala, warthogs, kudus and giraffe, but not in any great abundance.

Giraffe calf and a warthog - i missed it, just like i seemed to be doing with all the other animals!
The elephant sighting was a nice one, but we missed the herd at the dam, and only got to see two individuals drinking. 

Elephant at Entrance Dam
The rest of the herd were feeding to the south, and we spent time with them until we went towards Elephant Dam to join some giraffes for a drink. 

Elephant herd
I was hoping like mad to find some leopard, but it was not to be, and we headed back north to the camp without much to speak of.  The only redeeming factor for the day was the news that the Machaton Pride had killed a giraffe in the far south, and should still be about tomorrow...we shall see!
Herold had a frustrating afternoon tracking Kuhanya in the north with no joy, but he did get to see a lovely sighting of a rhino in the east.

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