Sunday, 18 September 2011

15th September – Wild Dogs Return With Pups!!!

Photo of the Day
Wild dogs make a welcome return!

Morning Drive
(Chad, Grant and Marka)
13 x wild dogs (8 x adults and 5 x pups with steenbuck kill) – Peru, Voel Dam
10 x lions (Giraffe Farm Pride with white lioness) – Argyle Rd
1 x breeding herd of buffalo – Scholtz, Karans-Scholtz Cutline
2 x buffalo bulls – De Luca, Nyati Dam
1 x buffalo bull – Peru, Argyle Rd

Afternoon Drive
(Chad, Grant and Marka)
13 x wild dogs (8 x adults and 5 x) – Peru, Pagati Rd
1 x leopard (Argyle Jnr female) – Argyle, Vyeboom Dam
2 x buffalo bulls – Peru, Piva Bamba Rd

Daily Synopsis
I sound like a broken down record apologising for the delay in posting these, but really was having trouble getting the pictures I trust that you will all enjoy the catching up session in your offices on Monday morning!
So after the excitement of last night, we were eager to move into the area to see if the lions and the cub had stayed on our property, but after checking around and looking at the area where they had been, the only tracks we found indicated that they had indeed moved back north into Ingwelala.  It was a bit disappointing, but I guess we shall just have to wait until they grace us with their presence again.  This search in the north-east, as well as a trip a bit further south in the eastern section meant that we saw very little besides impalas and mopane trees.
I was going to try my luck further east, but I had a nagging suspicion that I shouldn’t, as that would put me out of reach of anything good in the central and western sections where everyone else was operating.
I thus decided to go follow up on that herd of buffalo from yesterday, although another guide beat me to it, and I joined him as I was on the same road.  I however spent very little time with them, as I had no sooner stopped when Grant called me to tell me that he had found a pack of 13 wild dogs, including 5 pups!  For all those that know me, I can’t resist wild dogs, so I immediately headed in that direction, but as there were a few other vehicles going, I took my time – so much so that even Petros asked if the dog’s had been lost because I wasn't going faster!
There was generally not much about today besides waterbuck and impala, so I stopped for a drink at Mbali Dam. 
After coffee, I made my way a short distance to where the pack of wild dogs was running around, and they had split, with some members over a kilometre away from the pups, that had in the interim been given a fresh steenbuck kill that the adults had killed and we arrived to watch as the five pups (probably 4-5 months old) played around with the kill!

Wild dog pups anda  steenbuck kill
The adults came back, but eventually all ran to the south, and the pups followed, but after half-heartedly showing interest in a massive warthog, they too went to sleep, and we left them in peace.

Pup and alpha female reunite
It is great to have the northern pack back again, with a full complement of adults as well as some pups that they failed to raise last year!  Our wild dog viewing hasn’t been good of late as winter is the time of year when they packs settle down to den, but now the pups are old enough, they return to their nomadic ways and we should start seeing them more regularly from now on.
We headed back to camp, but Marka decided to go the extra mile, or 25 for his guests, and he took a massive chance to go and see some lions on Argyle Rd near the gate – he got lucky, just, and saw at least 10 members of the Giraffe Farm pride, including their white lioness!
My afternoon involved me looking for leopard.  I should really learn that when I try do this, I fail.  As a result, I didn’t see all that much, but the general game was alright – warthogs, kudu bulls, crocodiles, impala, a big herd of waterbuck, more impala and eventually I headed back to the wild dogs as I had a guest that didn’t see them in the morning.

Warthog and waterbuck
We arrived as they were getting active, but sadly this didn’t lead to a great sighting as they barely stood still and we were always following behind them as they made their way towards Mbali dam where they crossed the Nhlaralumi and were gone.

Wild og pack again in the afternoon
We ended up having a sundowner, which for me lately has been about as rare as finding wild dogs, and after that, headed back to camp, searching for hippos out of the water on the way.  I was going to check Vyeboom Dam, but Grant headed there instead.  He found leopard.  I found bushbabies.  Oh well!  I guess I need to hope for better tomorrow!

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