Sunday, 11 September 2011

10th September: A Little Disjointed.

Pic of the Day.
Morning Drive.

( Grant, Petros & Herold.)

Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Argyle – Horizon Rd.
Buffalo ( Dagha Boys) / Motswari – Motswari Airstrip Link.
Lion ( Mafikizolo Pride) / Scholtz – Mananga Cutline.
Rhino ( Tshangula)
Rhino ( 2 x Females)

Afternoon Drive.

( Grant, Petros & Herold.)

Buffalo ( Dagha Boys) / Motswari – Xinatsi Dam Rd North.
Elephant ( Kambaku) / Peru – Sohobele Plains.
Leopard ( Kuhanya) / Argyle – Mangova Rd.
Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Argyle – Horizon Rd.
Rhino ( Tshangula)

Daily Synopsis.

It's becoming something of a morning routine, first we find a couple of Buffalo Bulls around camp followed by a herd of Elephant. Although my guests have seen plenty Elephant we always stop and spend some time with them and every time it is different. On this occasion we watched as two of the herd members went about jousting with one another, while the matriarch approached a Maroela Tree next to our vehicle and went about giving herself a great scratch, unfortunately it was that close that we could not take photo's and we had eventually move back before she included the Land-rover to help her get to all those itchy parts. It was fascinating to watch and no sooner had she finished another proceeded to approach, smell the tree and then rub up against it too. As the tree was sloped one even tried climbing it putting both his front feet up on the main trunk.

Our mornings objective was to find Rhino and once again Vultures, so we headed off to the West. Hearing that a number of stations were also heading in that direction wee changed our plans and proceeded back to the East to help Petros track the Mafikizolo Pride, who's tracks he had picked up heading South. Not really needing Lions we decided to give him a hand as it is a difficult area to track and it is always quicker when there is more than yourself. Finding the tracks we knew we were not far behind as one of the land owners had heard them calling shortly before sunrise and had them drinking at his waterhole. With Jacky and Patrick on foot, myself, Marka and Petros checked the surrounding area. While doing this we found a beautiful Martial Eagle who posed very nicely for our pictures. Incidentaly he would be the closest we would come to seeing a vulture!

It was not long before Jacky contacted us on the radio to tell us that they had located the pride. They were still mobile to the South West and our traversing boundary. Earlier I had mentioned to Jacky that it was a guarantee that Rhino would be found if we were way out in no man's land and on this occasion not one sighting was found, but two! With my work in tracking done I decided to head off for Tshangula while Marka and Petros established the sighting.

Lucky for us Tshangula was to be found not that far away and by the time we arrived everyone had been through the sighting so we could spend a little time with him.

Lets hope everything is around this afternoon as we receive a whole new group of guests.

Once again afternoon drive started under very hot conditions and the animals that we found were all congregated around water. As the majority of the guests on our car were new we could take in everything and anything. We did decide to try head down to were the Mafikizolo Pride had been in the morning as Lion sightings for us are very unpredictable and you never know when and where you will see them. This was a case in point and when we arrived at the sight where they had been left to rest off the days heat, they were no where to be found. We spent considerable time driving round the area but without any luck. With the fast approaching the horizon we decided to head to Tshangula, our large male Rhino, who had in fact been relocated. Least some of our animals are reliable!

While we watched him go about his business of marking his territory and then wander off to a nearby dam to drink. Herold spent his afternoon in the North were they had found Kuhanya stalking Impala very close to Argyle Dam and a nice breeding herd of Elephant.

Having not learnt our lesson we returned after sundowners to the area the Mafikizolo Pride had been, believing we would have better luck under the light. Once again this proved fruitless and we only found a Large Spotted Genet after nightfall. This I'm sure has to do with the heat and the nocturnal animals are now only becoming active far later when it is cooler.

All in all our afternoon felt a little disjointed and rather frustrating. Here's hoping things flow a little better tomorrow.  


  1. Nice sightings the last few days. I read that it is very hot at the moment. Is that normal for the time of the year. We are visiting Motswari in the first week next month. What is normal for that time of the year?

  2. Like the rhino photos Grant!
    Thanks for the update...