Saturday, 1 October 2011

30th September: Argyle Male Returns Home!

Pic of the Day.
Morning Drive.

( Herold, Grant & Petros.)

Leopards ( Argyle Male & Vyeboom Male) / Motswari – Motswari Camp.
Rhino ( 2 x Unknown Males)
Lion ( Machaton Pride: 3 x Females & 7 x Cubs) / Umlani – Middle Rd.
Buffalo ( Dagha Boys) / Vielmieter – Hide Dam.

Afternoon Drive.

( Herold, Grant & Wayne.)

Rhino ( Tshangula)
Buffalo ( Dagha Boys) / Peru – Long Rd.
Elephant ( Kambaku) / Mbali – Mbali Dam.

Daily Synopsis.

Having found Lion and Leopard the previous evening we were keen for the bigger mammals this morning, ideally Rhino and Buffalo. Heading out and hearing that no one was going to check wether the Leoprad opposite camp had relaxed and may offer up a viewing oppurtunity we decided to give it a quick check, cause you never know. We knew that it must still be about as our resident Vervets had been alarm calling since the break of day. Arriving at the scene we noticed something running off to the West, instead of following we decided to continue to the tree where the Impala carcass hung. As we got closer we noticed a fairly large Leopard below the tree feeding on what looked like an Impala leg. Concentrating on him we did not notice another Leopard up in the tree until Jacky actually pointed him out. With both Leopards focussing their attention on one another we were able to approach quite close. Once settled we immediately identified Leopard chewing on the leg as Argyle Male and the one in the tree as his son, Vyeboom Male. It looks like they displaced the skittish Leopard from the previous evening as both of these Leopards are not shy of the vehicles especially after dark, as the other one had been. Judging from Argyles stomach he must have displaced the other Leopard and his son Vyeboom Male had no just recently arrived on scene. A scuffle must have insued that resulted in them dislodging the kill and the ever present Hyena ran off with part of the remains. It was not long after this that the two split with Argyle Male heading back to the North and Vyeboom Male remained in the area chewing on what was left of the carcass. Having had a great sighting of the both of them we turned our attention to the West in search of bigger things.

Initially we picked up on a lot of the larger antelope like Kudu and Waterbuck but as the wind picked up and drops of rain started to fall the animals went into hiding. Arriving in the West we criss crossed the entire area bur with all the recent rhino activity in the area it is very difficult to know what's what! Never thought I'd here myself say that! We eventually did pick up on some tracks that we thought were fresh but once again they were hard to follow up on in between all the older one's and the going was slow.

When we heard that two Rhino were found not far South of us we took the easy way out and responded to those. We found them in a nice open clearing and seemed quite relaxed with our presence, so much so that at the end of our stay one of them lay down to rest.

Having eventually found what we were after we could head back to camp for brunch, need I mention we were late again!

Shoei..................... now that was a quiet afternoon! We were on the lookout for Buffalo, Elephant and Zebra on afternoon drive. With the wind still blowing strongly we did not hold out much hope for the Elephant but we still drove all their favorite spots in case. I guess our drive felt a lot quieter because we found our Buffalo within the first half hour, along with a whole herd of Waterbuck and lots of Kudu.

Unfortunately it all ended there and the rest of the drive was dead, we did however see herds and herds of Giraffe. No doubt when we are looking for Giraffe they will have done a disappearing act and there will be loads of Elephant around!

We did find a very nice herd of Zebra after sundowners but the light was so bad that you could not fully appreciate the sighting and we will definiatly have to refind them in the morning. Add to this our elusive Elephant and we have ourselves a busy morning ahead of us, especially if the weather does not improve.

Herold and Wayne had a little more success and found Tshangula, our relaxed male Rhino, but apart from that they too had themselves a quiet afternoon.

Lets see what surprises the bush holds for us tomorrow.

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