Saturday, 3 December 2011

03rd December: Play Time.

Pic of the Day.
Morning Drive.

( Herold, Shadrack & Giyani.)

Buffalo ( Breeding Herd) / Java – Java Dam.
Buffalo ( Breeding Herd) / Mbali – Terminalia Rd.
Buffalo ( Breeding Herd) / Scholtz – Shooting Range Rd.
Buffalo ( Dagha Boys) / Vielmieter – Sweetwater Pan.
Elephant ( Kambaku's) / Argyle – Great North.
Wilddog ( 13 x Pack) / Peru – Wilkens Way.

Afternoon Drive.

( Grant, Herold, Shadrack & Giyani.)

Leopard ( Unknown Female) / Argyle – Argyle Dam.
Leopard ( Klakiso's Daughter) / Mbali – White Syringa.
Buffalo ( Breeding Herd) / Peru – Sohobele Plains.
Buffalo ( Dagha Boys) / Argyle – Old Mphisi Kaya.
Elephant ( Kambaku's) / Argyle – Buffalo Pan.
Elephant ( Kambaku's) / Argyle – Vyeboom Dam.
Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Argyle – Wilkens Way North.
Wilddog ( 13 x Pack) / Peru – Xinzele Rd.

Daily Synopsis.

Not having heading out on drive this morning I was keen to get out there in the afternoon. It's amazing how when you driving everyday you can't wait to have a break but the moment you get one all you want to do is be back out there! It seemed as though things were playing against me though as I received four new guests, two of which had spent the whole day in the car coming from Umfolozi and understanderbly wanted to rest and the other two being local only wanted a short drive of an hour or so. Without Jacky once more Andrea took the place of tracker and I was keen to find us some big animals in our limited time to check what she was made of. Strangely enough I think she wanted it more than me!

With us also heading out in less than perfect conditions it looked like we could be in for a quiet one especially as the soft drizzle upgraded itself to a gentle rain. This however seemed to have the opposite effect as no sooner had we left camp there was a sighting of a Leopard and another of the Wilddog. With a lot of interest being expressed in the Leopard sighting we avoided that and head for the Wilddog. Along the way we first stopped for a nice herd of Waterbuck followed by an impressive herd of Impala. This was shortly followed by a herd of Buffalo that was making its way across Sohobele Plains. The rain had all the animals in a playful mood and many of them were gallivanting around chasing and sparing with one another.

Not wanting to leave the Wilddogs for to long because under these conditions they would be up and about at any time we headed off in their direction. Oddly enough we arrived to a pack of sleeping dogs. While we made our way in one did get up and we thought our timing had been perfect as it would rustle up the others and they would be on their way but instead it repositioned itself and as quickly as it had woken it fell back asleep. Sitting with them you could see their belly's were full and the saying, “ belly's full, eye's closed,” had never been truer!

Leaving them to rest off their indigestion we headed off on a loop around Vyeboom Dam on the way home. It was here that we saw something I've never seen and by far our most interesting sighting. A group of Giraffe had gathered in a clearing and as they came close to one another they would break out running appearing to chase one another. This would happen at full speed for a couple hundred metres and while they ran they would kick out with both their front and back legs like Bulls in a rodeo. It was if they were displaying their athletic ability to one another every time trying to outdo the next.. You would think this was only how males would behave but Giraffes of all sizes, sex and age took part. 

It was fascinating to watch and we all sat there totally transfixed. Having witnessed something I've never seen before I was now quite happy to head back to the lodge having had a very successful afternoon. As if not wanting to let us get back to the lodge the bush threw us another incredible sighting. This time it was of two Bull Elephant who swam across Vyeboom Dam and started to harass a large breeding herd that had come down to the waters edge to drink. The herd with many young did not appreciate the Bulls company and fled to the North at high speed ending our picturesque sighting. 

With the rain getting that ever bit harder as time passed we once again set off home but yet again we found a group of Dagha Boys to distract as before reaching the lodge.

The rest of the guys stayed out a little longer as they had travelled a little further to go see Klakiso's daughter sighting in a Marula Tree sheltering from the rain but they all did eventually return to the lodge early as the rain became unbearable.

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