|Pic of the Day.|
( Chad, Grant, Shadrack, Herold & Giyani.)
Lion: ( 3 x Sohobele Males) / Karans – Northern Access.
Lion: ( 3 x Machaton Females & 7 Cubs) / Umlani – Marco's Dam Link.
Buffalo: ( Dagha Boys) / Karans – Ingwe Drive.
( Grant, Shadrack, Herold & Giyani.)
Buffalo ( Dagha Boys) / Java – Java Dam.
Buffalo ( Dagha Boys) / Peru – Illegal Crossing.
Buffalo ( Breeding Herd) / Majavi Dam.
Greetings and Salutations it's Grant back to Blogging duties for the next couple weeks while Chad is away on leave. Thanks for all the time and effort Chad, know it's been more of a Slog with the internet the way it is at the moment.
As you all may of read we have been having a great run of form up until late with some unbelievable sightings. Jacky and I in particular have been very lucky but as is the way of the wild this was not long lived. Over the last couple of days we have really struggled with any type of animal and this current form seems to be continuing with us all experiencing yet another quiet drive this morning. Normally this poor showing of our furry friends would be isolated to either the North or the South, so there was always the option of good sightings if you were prepared to travel. This does not appear to be the case on this occasion as it appears to be very still throughout the reserve. Having travelled to a property yesterday afternoon that we don't often visit, in the far North Eastern corner, desperately in search of any form of pachyderm we possible found out why we are experiencing such a lull. In comparison to our traversing area the properties up North are a lush jungle with every tree bearing fresh leaves and the grass being emerald green. If I were a herbivore I know where I would definitely be and as you could see from yesterday's sightings blog most of them were.
Enough about making excuses though and more about our morning. Not feeling the pressure that the other guides are under at the moment as my guests are at the end of their stay and have seen a fair amount we were able to take the morning very easy and look at whatever came our way. Which truth be told was not much but we did have a nice sighting of a couple of Blue Wildebeest in amongst a nice herd of Zebra. As they had not seen Wildebeest this made up for the lack of other game and one more tick that they could add to their extensive mammal list.
With not much else on the go we decided to help Giyani follow up on some Lion tracks that he had picked up on hoping to get lucky with the White Lions. Herold joined the search and checked from the North while I checked the East and Giyani on the West. It was not long before Herold worked his magic and picked up on the three Sohobele Males lying out in the open of coincidently, the Sohobele Riverbed. Its great to have them spending more around the area but having seen them not so long ago we skipped visiting them and continued to the East in the hope of finding any trace of the White Lions or perhaps get lucky with our Wilddog pack again. It was not until much later that I received the news that the White Lions are actually up on Ingwelala scavenging from a dead Elephant that was euthanised a couple days ago. It would appear they are following in the Sohobele's footsteps when it comes to trying to survive when you loose your parents early. I'm glad to hear they are finally getting some food in their stomachs, I just hope they don't run into any trouble with other Lions that are attracted by the same idea.
Some of the guys travelled to the far South to visit the Machaton Pride who were found on Umlani but other than the great sighting of this rapidly growing pride they too all had a very quiet morning. Receiving new guest this afternoon Jacky and I will also find ourselves in the same boat, lets hope it's Noah's Ark!
Afternoon drive started under clouded sky's and we had hoped that this would have the animals out and about. With it being my guests first drive we were once again not under any pressure to deliver straight off and we could spend time taking in the smaller things. We did not have to travel far and stuck to the North. Unfortunately for the others it was once again a very quiet afternoon and every so often I would have to check my radio to make sure that it was actually on. After covering a fair amount of small things we decided to follow up on the Sohobele Males who had been found in the morning but were in a very inaccessible place. We were hoping they may have moved with the cool weather. Dropping Jacky off on the tracks, I headed around checking the boundaries. It was not long before Jacky found fresh tracks that indicated they had tried to kill a old Buffalo Bull. Not having succeeded they moved off to a nearby tough before heading back to the North. With the sun going down and us running out of time we had to take a drinks break nearby while Jacky continued to follow up. While enjoying our drinks I received a message that he had in fact found them but they had moved into an even more inaccessible area where we could not access. He also added the unfortunate news that it looked like the Buffalo hunt had drained them of all their energy and they were not going anywhere in a hurry, lying flat cat even when approached on foot. Not only had the afternoon been quiet but it now had become frustrating. As sort of a consolation we did find a small breeding herd of Buffalo not far away at one of the dams. Lets hope they are able to lure the Sohobele Boys out of their liar. We also found five Hyenas at the same dam on the opposite bank drinking and resting in the water. Looking at their stomachs it appeared they had eaten one of the Buffalo with all of their guts hanging to the ground.
We wait and see what tomorrow holds, you have to love the whole unexpectedness of the bush.