Saturday, 24 September 2011

22nd September – Jacaranda Pride Show Their Cub at Another Giraffe Kill!

Photo of the Day
Jacaranda cub enjoying a giraffe kill

Morning Drive
(Grant and Herold (Chad chickened out in the rain!!!))
3 x rhino (2 x males and 1 female)
7 x buffalo bulls – Java, Java Dam
2 x elephant bull – Peru, Peru Cutline
1 x breeding herd of elephant – Peru, Xikatsi Rd
1 x breeding herd of elephant – Mbali, Terminalia Rd

Afternoon Drive
(Herold and Chad)
4 x lions (Jacaranda Pride – 3 lionesses and 1 cub with giraffe kill) – Argyle, Oppikoppie Rd
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Argyle, Crossing Below Vyeboom Dam
2 x elephant bulls – Argyle, Crossing Below Vyeboom Dam
1 x elephant bull – Argyle, Argyle Dam
4 x buffalo bulls – Motswari, Trade Entrance Dam
1 x buffalo bull – Motswari, Ingwelala Crossing

Daily Synopsis
Today was International Rhino day as the world, and particularly South Africa took a stand against the horrendous spate of poached rhinos over the last two years, and it was quite fitting then that rhinos were the highlight of the morning drive, well, at least for those brave enough to stick it out!
I was searching for leopards for a change, so headed north, but on hearing that Grant had heard lions roaring near Ingwelala airstrip, I headed even further far north I hit rain!  The drizzle slowly got harder, and after only 40 minutes, we decided to throw in the towel and head back to camp, as the few impalas we saw weren’t enough to keep us out there!
As it turned out, the rain stopped, but we decided to use the cool weather to do a bushwalk instead of heading out there again and enjoyed a nice amble through the bush.   
Grant and Herold stayed out and got to see some buffalo bulls, a couple herds of elephants and three rhinos on one of the airstrips – Grant commented that it was one of his favourite rhino sightings ever, due mostly to the great setting.  Having seen that, they didn’t even bother going to see another 5 rhinos that had also been found.
Sad news was that the death of the one older Machaton cub was confirmed when the Rockfig clan of hyenas was found eating his carcass.  It does appear that an unknown male lion pitched up in the area and is likely to have killed the cub as the rest of the pride ran to the south.
I joined the afternoon drive, and managed to stay dry.  With some new guests, Sigmar and Mike, we took it easy in the north, and actually had a wonderful afternoon, despite the gloomy weather conditions.
After hearing that some impalas were alarm calling near the camp, we went to check, but only found some giraffe browsing in the area. 

Giraffe herd on the airstrip
Checking the Wedge, we found the impala, but they were on Ingwelala, and as Marka had seen tracks for one Jacaranda lioness and her cub heading in that direction in the morning, I thought it was likely to be them. 
Herold was going to check south of that, so I didn’t and went to Argyle Dam instead – we saw a lone buffalo bull and a lone elephant bull at the dam, as well as more impalas and two bushbuck.

Bushbuck and elephant below Argyle Dam
It was then that I got a call asking if I wanted to see lions.  I said “no, its fine thanks”...okay, I didn’t, instead I heard that the Jacaranda Pride had indeed made their way back onto our reserve and were found, with the cub, on a young giraffe kill near our northern boundary! 
After seeing waterbuck and impala, I arrived at the sighting to find the cub and the mother lioness feeding on the kill while the hyenas wandered about not far off.

Jacaranda Pride with their giraffe kill
The other lionesses were fat and sleeping while the cub and mother tucked into the kill – it was great to be able to see this cub properly and in the daylight!

Young Jacaranda cub and her mother feeding on a giraffe
Leaving the lions, we bumped into another two hyenas before going to see the some more of the Xinatsi hyena clan feeding on what skin and bones were left of the dead buffalo near Vyeboom Dam. 

Xinatsi hyena clan members spread between the giraffe kill and buffalo carcass
There were about six hyenas milling about, as well as a good number of vultures trying to get at the scraps.

Hyenas and vultures feeding on buffalo carcass
Leaving that sighting, we drove into another sighting of a small breeding herd of elephants as well as a few elephant bulls feeding and drinking down in the Nhlaralumi Riverbed – the light was almost gone, but we enjoyed watching them, especially as they were sniffing the air, no doubt smelling the carcass nearby.  One hyena actually came and had a drink while we were watching the elephants.

Breeding herd of elephants drinking in the Nhlaralumi below Vyeboom Dam
We then went to drink before heading back to camp, but not before pausing to admire hundreds of flickering fireflies above the water at Concrete Crossing – a spectacular scene indeed!  We also bypassed a crocodile resting on the riverbank, giraffe, bushbuck and impalas to round off an enjoyable afternoon!


  1. Great day Chad... Pity about the cub though.


  2. I'm really sorry to hear about the cub :(