Monday, 19 September 2011

17th September – What Lion Crisis?

Photo of the Day
Mbali female leopard
Morning Drive
(Chad, Grant and Marka)
1 x lion (Jacaranda lioness with baby giraffe kill) – Motswari, Ingwelala-Sharalumi Cutline
1 x leopard (Mbali female) – Java, Back of Java
2 x rhino (2 males)
20 x buffalo bulls – Peru, Hidden Away Pan
7 x buffalo bulls – Motswari, Trade Entrance Pan
4 x elephant bulls – Peru, Peru Entrance Rd

Afternoon Drive
2 x lions (2 Jacaranda lionesses fighting about 10 hyenas over the baby giraffe kill) – Motswari, Ingwelala-Sharalumi Cutline
1 x leopard (Thumbela female with vervet monkey kill) – Jaydee, Madala Crossing
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Peru, Jack’s Camp
4 x elephant bulls – Argyle, Buffalo Pan
1 x buffalo bull – Argyle, Crossing Below Vyeboom Dam

Daily Synopsis
The morning was less windy than yesterday, so that was already a great start.  Marka and I decided to try for leopard around camp – either for the one that had walked through last night, or the one that was causing concern amongst the guineafowls and bushbuck shortly before coffee.  I really should learn to not even try, as for the millionth time this week, I failed to find anything besides a group of buffalo bulls, kudu and impala.

Buffalo bulls
Fortunately Marka was around and he found a cat with spots of her own.  No.  Not a cheetah; rather the old Jacaranda lioness with a fresh baby giraffe kill right on the road!  Unfortunately for us though, as Marka approached, being alone and in the open, the lioness decided to move the kill and sadly pulled it across our boundary into Ingwelala where she settled to feed.  It wasn't far off the road, maybe 20-25m, but there were a few bushes in the way that made photography impossible. 
Thankfully for me, one of the southern stations found Mbali leopardess on Java, and I made my way there seeing more kudu, waterbuck and impala.  I tried the hyena den once more, but had no luck, so went to see the leopard instead.
Mbali was milling about, looking to hunt, and using various termite mounds to climb up for a better view.  She is still hanging about where we think she has cubs, and her teats still look as though they are being suckled, so I am sure it wont be long before we get to see her cubs!  She was looking a bit lean, but that might just be her old age!

Mbali on the prowl
We stopped for coffee and then headed home, seeing only kudu and impala – so not an overly busy morning, but an enjoyable one none-the-less.
I was due to drive, but one set of guests had to leave early, and the others didn’t arrive until late, so Grant went out alone.  He managed a good drive – the Jacaranda lioness had moved her kill into a better position, although still on Ingwelala, a few elephant bulls, a herd of elephants, a lone buffalo, and best of all, the stunning Thumbela leopardess with a vervet monkey kill, in the open! 
I went out on a short staff bumble, and after a lovely sundowner at Sohebele Dam with a croc, waterbuck and impala, we went to see what all the hyena noise was about on the wedge, and found the Xinatsi Clan eating the giraffe kill after having chased off the lioness.  While watching, the nearby giraffe ran off, then the hyenas ran off, and soon 2 lionesses came running in and took over their kill again!  The visual wasn't spectacular, but the sounds of the fighting were something else!  Really awesome to have this so close to camp!
I am back on drive tomorrow afternoon, so look forward to getting out there again – sure Grant will have a spectacular drive tomorrow morning as I will likely not be on drive again in the morning.
Until then, enjoy the weekend!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the update Chad!
    Great sighting from the hyenas and lions fighting over the kill!!!
    Man, I hope you can get some photos of Thumbela for us :-)