Thursday, 10 November 2011

08th November – Feeling the Heat!

Photo of the Day
Buffalo bull
Morning Drive
(Marka, Grant, Herold and Chad)
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Mbali, Dung Beetle Drive
1 x elephant bull – Peru, Tawny Eagle Rd
2 x buffalo bulls – Motswari, Wisani Access

Afternoon Drive
(Herold and Chad)
1 x breeding herd of buffalo – Argyle, Buffalo Pan
20 x buffalo bulls – Karans, Northern Access
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Mbali, Mvubu Crossing
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Peru, Mbali Dam
2 x elephant bulls – Peru, Woza-woza Cutline

Daily Synopsis
And here I was thinking that yesterday morning was quiet...hahahaha...little did I know! 
Let me put it this way – the first two and a half hours of my drive consisted of one hippo and one wildebeest.  That is it.  No impala.  No steenbuck.  Just one hippo, and one wildebeest!
One wildebeest; double my tally for the mo
It was actually less painful than it sounded, as I always just enjoy driving in the east – the hippo actually climbed out of the dam he was in and went running off, being the only mammal before coffee, so seeing a wildebeest on one of the airstrips just after coffee felt like being in the Seregeti!
It was shortly before 8am that I ventured back to the central regions and picked up not one, but two steenbuck...then two giraffes, and wait for it, a whole herd of impalas!!!

I wasn't the only one having a quiet morning, and besides the other guides jokingly calling in sightings of impalas stalking a herd of grass, things sounded desperate when they were seriously calling in herds of zebras and giraffe!
I began tracking a herd of elephants, and eventually found them a kilometre or so from Mbali Dam, and spent a good part of the morning watching them as the mercury rose – it was a sizeable herd of about 30 elephants.

Elephant herd
Leaving them and heading back to camp, we did find at least two other herds of!
This didn’t bode well for my afternoon, so it was a bit perplexing that I headed east again with my new set of guests!  There was method in my madness, and this seemed like perfect conditions to find a rhino wallowing in one of the dams in the area; the suppressive heat though didn’t bode well for other game viewing!
On Kudu Pan Clearing we found our first batch of animals – one zebra, one wildebeest (different from this morning’s one!) and a herd of impala – wow, what an improvement!!!

Zebra, wildebeest and impala on Kudu Pan Clearing
Trying the dams in the east, we ticked off many more impalas, but just no sign of rhinos, or even buffalo bulls enjoying the waterholes?  That possibly wasn't a surprise as all the buffalo bulls in the reserve appeared to have merged into one group!  Well, almost, but seeing a herd of about twenty buffalo bulls is not common, so it was part compensation for missing out on the large herd of buffalos that Herold watched crossing into Ingwelala.

Big herd of buffalo bulls
With our first big game ticked off, we headed for the Nhlaralumi Riverbed and the three different elephant herds that had gathered there; we saw two elephant bulls on the way, but chose to rather go and spend time with the herd that was at Mbali Dam.  We watched as they fed around, and spent most of the time enjoying the youngest herd member that could not have been more than a week or two old!

Elephant herd and some out-of-focus white-faced ducks with an elephants reflection and a lost knob-billed duck!
The herd eventually crossed the dam and off into the bush, and we used this as our cue to go and enjoy what was left of a sundowner.
Heading back to camp was a bit quiet, and we didn’t manage to add much to our list of species, but it was still an enjoyable afternoon with my guests that were all enjoying their first safari experience!
I hope that they get to enjoy tomorrow even more...although it is bound to be even hotter out there!

1 comment:

  1. I agree with all the animals even I could feel the heat today in Pretoria. Wonderful sightings and captures.
    God Bless.