Photo of the Day
|New hyena cubs at the Rockfig densite!!!|
(Grant, Herold and Chad)
5 x hyenas (Rockfig Clan with new cubs!) – Vielmetter, Hide Dam Northern Access
1 x buffalo bull – Vielmetter, Double Highway
1 x buffalo bull – Vielmetter, Vielmetter Access
2 x buffalo bulls – Peru, Jack’s Camp
2 x elephant bulls – Motswari, Airstrip
15 x elephant bulls – Peru, Voel Dam Southern Access
(Grant, Herold and Chad)
10 x lions (Machaton Pride – 3 lionesses and 7 cubs) – Umlani, Rhino Rd
1 x leopard (Umfana male) – Kings, Generator Crossing
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Argyle, Argyle Dam
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Motswari, Ingwelala Crossing
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Peru, Flooded Crossing
1 x elephant bull – Argyle, Argyle Dam
2 x buffalo – Peru, Hippo Rocky Rd
1 x buffalo – Motswari, Camp
Good morning folks! Hope this blog post finds you all well! Things are good in the bush, although been very busy, but hoping to catch up on my blog posts today!
Rewinding a bit to Friday, we had a pretty enjoyable day in the bush, with some lovely new faces being introduced to us! The drive started with a lone hyena walking past us near the lodge, but remained pretty quiet for the first hour, with only some impala and a few drops of rain being seen; but it was worth it as we made our way south to the hyena den site near Hide Dam. While we suspected that one of the hyenas had given birth a few weeks ago in this den, no one had seen the cubs...until this morning that was! While Grant and I were heading down there when Marka radioed to tell us that two new cubs were also at the den, and as we arrived, there they were! Two balls of black fur, only a few weeks old and immediately at ease with our presence!!!
|New hyena cubs!|
We spent some great time with them as they explored the area close to the den, and interacted with their two older cousins, who themselves were quite curious of the youngsters, but with mom about, they weren’t allowed to get too excited.
|Playing with his/her older cousins!|
|Looking forward to watching them grow up!|
Following that great excitement, we carried on with the drive down in the south and checked out the areas where I hoped to see some leopards, but it was rather quiet; we did see many impalas, some warthogs, kudus, a mother giraffe and calf, a waterbuck bull and a troop of baboons.
|Kudu and giraffe calf|
My plan had been to head back north, but when I heard that two different leopards had been found further south, I stopped for coffee and waited to respond after the southern stations had been through the sightings. Thumbela was at Machaton Dam, but lying in an awful spot with a 1 out of 5 visual, so I gave up on her hoping to see Rockfig Jnr leopardess instead; but she too moved into the Machaton Riverbed and disappeared into a thicket – guess it wasn't meant to be my morning, or my last couple of days – that is four leopard sightings in a row that have ended before I could see them!
It was already late and warming up, so I left the area and headed back north, without much to speak of besides two separate sightings of buffalo bulls.
I was expecting four new guests in the afternoon, but by 4pm, none had arrived, so I went out with Gabi and Renate and bumbled about a bit, spending the first part of the drive with a herd of elephants near the lodge. While watching them, I heard that two of my guests had arrived and I went to pick them up before heading out on a “proper drive”.
|Elephant herd near camp|
I headed towards Argyle Dam, seeing some impalas on the airstrip before spotting a large elephant bull below the dam wall. I went up onto the dam wall, and found a herd of elephants at the water – I also discovered that the bull was in musthe, so quickly changed position and went to watch the herd drinking and feeding on the lush green grass around the water.
|Elephant herd at Argyle Dam|
|Elephants drinking at Argyle Dam|
Leaving Argyle Dam, it was like the animals knew I had somewhere to go, so they all came out! On Piva Plains, we could see plenty impalas, a herd of waterbuck and a herd of kudu bulls all together.
|Waterbuck, impala and kudu|
The kudu bulls were glorious, and really put on a show when two of the males began fighting, and with the herd of elephants in the background, it made for an absolutely stunning scene that was difficult to draw myself away from.
|Kudu bulls fighting with an audience of elephants|
|Waterbuck on Piva Plains|
|Kudus on Sohebele Plains|
The sunset was also pretty special, so we paused for that before eventually heading towards where the leopard was! I haven’t seen this boy for some time, so it was great to see him around again and looking in good shape, and amazingly relaxed!
He gave us a great sighting, although it was a bit difficult to keep up with him as he criss-crossed the Nhlaralumi Riverbed. Eventually, he went static on a termite mound...
|Umfana young male leopard|
|Treed by a hyena|
|Umfana on the prowl|
Heading home after a late drinks stop, we bypassed a zebra herd, some wildebeest and lots of impalas, but the nocturnal animals eluded us; still, at least I eventually got to see a leopard!