Saturday, 10 September 2011

09th September:Finally! A Donkey In Pyjama's!

Pic of the Day.
Morning Drive.

( Grant & Herold.)

Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Motswari – Wisani Crossing Rd.
Elephant ( Kambaku's) / Scholtz – Kudu Pan Rd South.
Buffalo ( Dagha Boys) / Motswari – Motswari Southern Access.
Leopard ( Kuhanya) / DeLuca – Deluca Old Pump House.

Afternoon Drive.

( Grant, Herold & Petros.)

Leopard ( Kuhanya) / DeLuca – DeLuca Bushcamp.
Leopard ( Argyle Male & Unknown Male) / Argyle – Argyle Dam.
Elephant ( Kambaku's) / Vielmieter – Dizzy Drive.
Buffalo ( Breeding Herd) / Kings – Hyena Rd.
Lion ( Machaton Pride ) / Kings – Leisha's Link.

Daily Synopsis.

With two of my guests checking out this morn after drive our sole objective was to find Zebra. We could not have them leave without seeing one of Africa's icons. Heading to the North to follow up on a tip that Lions had been seen from camp we found a massive breeding herd of Elephant instead. I could not think of anything better to do than spend some quality time with an extremely relaxed herd of Elephant first thing in the morning. We spent nearly an hour with them as some play fought with each other and others fed alongside the car. Had we not needed to find Zebra We would have stayed there the entire drive.

Returning to the task at hand we once again set off driving nearly the identical route as we had done the day before, hoping our luck would change this time round. Once again though the plains were empty. While broadening our net we found fresh Leopard tracks very close to the Kruger Boundary, which we joked about being Kuhanya. Not having the time to follow up we passed on the info to Herold, mentioning that should we have time later we would follow up.

We had put out a desperate plea over the radio to our fellow guides that should they see Zebra to please contact us. When we reached the most South Eastern Corner we received a message that Zebra had been found along the Tsharalumi Riverbed in the central section. Not giving it a second thought we headed in their direction. Lucky for us they remained static feeding in the area as it took as quite a while to make our way across the reserve. We did finally get to see our Zebra though and it was worth all the effort as they fed in amongst a herd of Giraffe and Bull Kudu.

Thinking our morning was up and that the best way to wrap it up would be to have morning coffee at Mbali Dam which was only a short way away, we received news that Kuhanya had been found drinking at a water trough not very far from where we had those female tracks earlier on in the morn. Now there was the ideal way to wrap up our morning! Knowing Herold was heading there and would be there some time we still stopped for our coffee break. If you have cake you may as well eat it all!

Finishing with coffee Herold was still in the sighting and we made our way directly there. She was to be found resting in the shade of old dilapidated pump house using the now broken walls to shelter her from the suns warm rays. Looking at her belly she must have had something to eat very recently as it was swollen and she looked dis-sidedly uncomfortable, sitting there panting trying to cool herself and digest her high protein diet.

With time once again being beyond making friends with the kitchen we headed back to camp. I'm sure Kuhanya will be found in the nearby drainage line this afternoon, if not in the same spot and later I'm sure she will pop into Motswari for a visit.

I forgot to mention that after all our searching for Zebra we actually found another herd on Motswari itself, not far from camp shortly before we closed down for the morning.

My requests for the afternoon were for Vultures and Lion. We decided although we may not be able to see the Mafikizolo Pride with their Buffalo Kill it may attract Vultures into the nearby trees so that we may see them. Getting to the area where they have the kill we found nothing all the trees were empty. Obviously they have it so well positioned that not only can we not see it but the Vultures have not been able to pick up on it either.

While we had no luck with our feathered friends Herold managed to relocate on Kuhanya who had not moved far from her mornings position. She must still be suffering from over indulging and sat in the shade trying to digest her uncomfort away.

We headed South as the Machaton Pride had been found on Kings, after asking if there were not to many vehicles responding if we would be able to sneak a peak they gave us the go ahead. This worked out very well for us as we have guests checking out after drive tomorrow morning and others who will only have tomorrow's drives and with both of them yet to see Lion, time was running out.

Along our way there we stumbled across a breeding herd of Buffalo who clearly the reason the Lions were heading to the North.  

Passing the Buffalo quite quickly as not to hold up anyone at the Lions we arrived to find the pride all together and just getting active. We've, Jacky and I, have not seen them in a while and were glad to see that they all look in great condition and are growing up so fast. Although we spent a short time with them we got to see the best of their interactive period, as soon after we left they became mobile on the hunt.

While we had a great sighting of the Lions in the South Petros had stayed up in the North and found himself two male Leopards, one of which was Argyle Male, the other he was not that sure on. As they watched, these individual males went their separate ways after a brief encounter. Once again the Leopards stole the show from the Lions with a total of five being found in our traversing area. This included, Mbali, Kuhanya, Ntombi, Argyle Male and an Unknown Male. Lets see how many of them are around tomorrow when Chad gets back!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the update Grant. It is great seeing photos of Kuhanya!!!
    You had some nice light with the lions, and some nice photos there as well.