Friday, 14 October 2011

12th October – Kuhanya Gives us the Run Around!!!

Photo of the Day
One Kuhanya on the Rocks please :)

Morning Drive
(Herald, Shadrack and Chad)
3 x rhino (male, female and calf)
2 x rhino (2 females)
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Peru, Pan Rd
2 x elephant bulls – Karans, Kruger Boundary
6 x buffalo – Peru, Lion Pan Link II

Afternoon Drive
(Herald, Shadrack, Grant and Chad)
1 x leopard (Kuhanya Female) – Peru, Sohebele Dam
2 x rhino (2 females)
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Peru, Boolala Rd
3 x elephant bulls – Argyle, Vyeboom Dam
6 x buffalo bulls – Peru, Lion Pan Link III

Daily Synopsis
Hearing that the Mahlathini male lions had been roaring in the same spot, it was a bit demotivating, as they sounded to be just east of our traversing area, so that put pay to those plans of going to look for them, but I did still want to head east to see if I could get lucky with those wild dogs Herald saw yesterday.
Moving towards the Kruger boundary, I warned my guests that we could be in for a quiet morning, but you never know what you will find in the east!  There were some impala and nice birds about, and we then found two large elephant bulls feeding right on the Kruger boundary and spent time watching them.
Elephant bull on the Kruger boundary
Carrying on a bit south, I went to check Borneo, and while we didn’t see an awful lot, I drove on roads that I had never driven before (that is saying something after over four years here!), and even my guests commented on what a beautiful piece of land it was!  While we didn’t see much, every road was covered in rhino tracks, and we did eventually find a small herd consisting of female and calf that were a bit nervous, and a much more relaxed male.  Having had great rhino sightings already, we didn’t follow them into the bush after they eventually moved off.

Patrick, my tracker, spotted some zebras and giraffe in the Kruger side, and I am still perplexed as to how he saw them, as even with binoculars we struggled!
After coffee at Abercrombie Dam, we carried on checking areas of the east that I don’t normally drive, and while we didn’t see much besides the odd impala and kudu, it was wonderful to conduct our second drive in a row without seeing a single other vehicle!
In the more central areas, we did find more kudu, impala and a nice herd of zebras before heading back to camp for breakfast and a bushwalk around Argyle Dam.  While it was warm, there were few animals around the water, but we did have a nice sighting of a male bushbuck as well as the hippo that was snorting at our presence!

Zebra herd
The afternoon saw us wanting spots – mostly giraffe spots, but leopard wouldn’t go amiss.  I thus headed towards the lush green banks of the Nhlaralumi, and it didn’t take long to find a herd of giraffes.  We temporarily ignored them in favour of three elephant bulls drinking at Vyeboom Dam before they swam across to feed on the opposite bank.

Elephants at Vyeboom Dam
Returning to the giraffe, we enjoyed our time with them as they fed in the riverbed and on the bank, allowing us to really admire these curious animals.

Male giraffes
After some more impala, herds of kudu and waterbuck, we stopped briefly at a herd of elephants before carrying on towards the Rockfig Clan’s hyena den.

Elephant herd, waterbuck and kudu
The two cubs were out and we spent some time watching them, but they were not overly active.  I have yet to see any adults around them, and wonder if they will be more confident if mom is about?

Hyena cubs
After a stunning sunset, we heard that Godfrey (who wasn't even on drive) found Kuhanya on his way back from Java.  Herald was the first to arrive and I made my way over to see her.  It saved Herald’s afternoon as he had been to Buchner to check on the lions with no luck at all (besides zebras and fresh ostrich tracks!).

Sunset over the Drakensberg
I arrived to find Kuhanya sitting on some rocks, but she got mobile in an extremely difficult area – we managed to keep her long enough for all the guides to see as she made her way along the bank of Sohebele Dam. 

Giving the others a chance, we went for a drink as a full moon rose in the east.  Kuhanya in the mean time managed to catch herself a scrub hare, and fed into the dark.

Full moon
Heading home, we bumped into a hippo out of the water, which was a great way to end another enjoyable day!
The day was not so enjoyable for all though, and we sadly found the dead body of a tiny African wild cat kitten – the cause of its death remains a mystery, as does the dead of a young baboon that we found a few vultures and eagles eating on? 

Dead African wild cat kitten


  1. Good news - gorgeous Kuhanya is back!

    Unfortunately we didn't see her during our stay at motswari but I like the photo of the day "Kuhanya on the rocks"!

    Petra from Germany

  2. That are so impressive pictures. Thank you for such a great time in the bush!

    many Greetings, Lucie from Germany :)