Friday, 2 December 2011

01st December: Right Time, Right Place.

Pic of the Day.
Morning Drive.

( Grant, Shadrack & Herold.)

Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Peru – Jacks Camp.
Elephant ( Kambaku) / DeLuca – Mpela Mpela.
Buffalo ( Dagha Boys) / Motswari – Timbavati Cutline.
Buffalo ( Dagha Boys) / Vielmieter – Sweetwater Southern Access.
Buffalo ( Dagha Boys) / Peru – Mvubu Crossing.
Lion ( Maghlatini Male & Timbavati Female) / DeLuca – Argyle Rd.

Afternoon Drive.

( Grant & Herold.)

Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Argyle – Timabavati/ Umbabat Cutline.
Rhino ( 2 x Males)
Buffalo ( Dagha Boys) / Vielmieter – Jaydee Access.
Lion ( 3 x Machaton Females & 7 Cubs) / Kings – Cheetah Plains.

Daily Synopsis.

Our mornings mission was to find Hyena, a breeding herd of Elephant and Rhino. Seems to always be Rhino! Knowing of a place we were nearly guaranteed Hyena we headed off to the Hyena Den in the South hoping luck would be on our side. It would also make a nice change of scenery as we have spent the majority of the last few days driving in the North. It looked like we would be lucky as we found a lone Hyena walking down the road not far from the den itself. This young Hyena looked like the previous seasons young and he walked up alongside the vehicle and continued on his way North following the trail of something. Pulling into the den itself we only found the mother of the two sub adults but none of the youngsters So although we had success it was still a little disappointing not to see the pups. With time on our side we will try again before sunset as this seems to be the best time.  

Continuing on our way we checked all the drinking holes of the South and saw little more than a couple of Dagha Boys who had recently finished off mud bathing in one of them. Hearing that our two male Rhino's had been located by the trackers we slowly started to make our way back North in their direction. We thought it only a matter of time till the sighting would be established but by the time we got into the area they still had not been found with the vehicle. Apparently they got wind of the trackers and took fright running off to the West. With a couple of us in the area we spent a fair amount of time trying to relocate but they were nowhere to be found. Apparently Rhino are like Leopard if they don't want you to see them, you won't!

Stopping for a cup of coffee at Lily pan we gave them time to settle and would try again after drinks. With it warming up quickly we did not think they would go far. Resuming again we checked the block they had last been seen in but to no joy. With time running out we thought we would make that our afternoon mission. Heading back to camp our luck returned as we found a nice breeding herd of Elephant drinking along the Tsharalumi River they then proceeded to head off into the surrounding Mopane to feed

We had an ok sighting of them but there was a large male present that had them unsettled and they kept moving off as soon as he came near. Hopefully we will find them this afternoon a little more relaxed.

Shadrack and Herold had themselves an interesting morning as well. They had chosen to stick to the North and were rewarded later in the morning when they found one Maghlatini Male mating with a Timabavati female. As nobody expressed any interest in the sighting they had it all to themselves for the morning and spent a fair amount of time with these two very impressive Lions.

With the mercury climbing rapidly we all headed back to the coolness of camp. It looks like we already have an active afternoon to look forward to.

With temperatures once again reaching the mid thirty's we were hoping it would attract our bigger game to the water or at least keep it in the area as it was to hot to move off. Our drive was beyond perfect this afternoon with us making all the right decisions, choosing the right roads and being in the right place at the right time. The whole drive flowed for us and we had an amazing time which included some very special sightings. Keeping to our word we headed off in the direction of where we left the Elephant and it was not long before we received a message from Christoff that they were not far from where they had been. We joined him in the sighting and watched as these great grey giants tried to rouse themselves from their lethargy and get active. We chose to sit under a large Maroela Tree with a youngster and his mom as they went about feeding on the lush grass, both of us enjoying the shade from the tree. Finally having to head off as we wanted to leave ourselves enough time to track our two Rhino's from the morning we headed back West

We were to start our search at Lily Pan and then check Hidden Away Pan as we thought there was a good chance they both would be resting in the Pans themselves.  

Not far from the pans Jimmy radioed that he had two Rhino unfortunately they were in Klaserie and not in our traversing area. He did however mention that they looked like they wanted to cross to the East and he was not wrong as a short while later they did. Being right there we joined him in the sighting as the two of them slowly made there way towards the pans. With our guests now having seen all that they wanted the rest of the afternoon was to be a bonus and having not to spend time tracking the Rhino we had some extra time available.  

Kings had found the Machaton Pride and had extended us an invitation to go visit which we dually accepted. So heading off South we found the pride resting in the shade of a couple of trees on Cheetah Plains. As things started to cool off they began to become active and started grooming themselves and preparing themselves for the nights hunt. They had been following a herd of Buffalo which I'm sure they would try pick up on again and hope for success after dark. With the sun hitting the horizon we took our leave as we still wanted to try once more try our luck at the Hyena Den.  

Driving past Hide Dam we found the mother of the two young Hyenas sleeping in the dam itself. This did not bode well and we did not hold out much hope that they would be out without their mother present.

So when we pulled up to the den we were pleasantly surprised to find an adult with one of the very young one present. Sitting with them as the youngster played around our patience paid off as the other one eventually came out to join the party. Then another adult joined followed by the two sub adults, they all totally ignored us and we were witnesses to some amazing Hyena behaviour and interaction. Eventually with it getting dark we had to pull ourselves away from this enthralling sight and head off for a drink that was now a little later than a sundowner.  

To wrap things off nicely we found ourselves a very relaxed Genet and a Civet on the way home, oh and a Chameleon!

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