Thursday, 15 December 2011

14th December – Look Who’s Back!

Photo of the Day
Shongile after being spotted by a herd of impalas
Morning Drive
(Shaddy and Herold)
1 x leopard (Kuhanya female) – Motswari, Trade Entrance
1 x breeding herd of buffalo – Argyle, Ingwelala Crossing
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Peru, Piva Plains
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Vielmetter, Jiga-Jiga Rd
1 x elephant bull – Argyle, Piva Plains

Afternoon Drive
(Shaddy, Marka and Herold)
7 x lions (Machaton cubs) – Kings, Eastern Cutline
1 x leopard (Mbali female) – Jaydee, Peter Pan Access
1 x leopard (Kuhanya female with steenbuck kill) – Motswari, Airstrip
1 x breeding herd of elephant – Jaydee, Jumbo Drive
1 x breeding herd of elephant – Motswari, Wedge Northern Boundary
1 x elephant bull – Motswari, Northern Access
1 x buffalo bull – Motswari, Xinatsi Dam
2 x buffalo bulls – Java, Java Dam
1 x buffalo bull – Motswari, Ingwelala Boundary
2 x buffalo bulls – Peru, Giraffe Kill Rd

Daily Synopsis
Hello hello!!!  After a long absence during my long leave, The Chad is back!  Thanks Grant for all your fantastic posts over the last three weeks!  Some stunning sightings and images shared with everyone, and posted far more promptly than I ever could!!!!  So thanks a million for keeping us up-to-date, and enjoy your well deserved break!
So while I am back at the lodge, I’m only out on game drive again on Friday afternoon, but that hasn’t stopped me from still enjoying some good game viewing!
My first afternoon back, I was sitting at camp trying to enjoy the Spurs game on TV (well, trying too, we were 2-0 down!) when Robert came to knock on the door to tell me that there was a leopard calling in the camp!  So with Leigh, we walked up to reception to see if we could find it, and as I was walking towards the car park, Herold arrived to find her sleeping in the road about 40m away!  He came and picked us up and we got to follow her as she headed towards the soccer field.  Going out to the local pub (well, by local I mean 43km away) for some dinner that night, we ticked off rhino and elephant too!
The next afternoon I went to visit some friends at Ingwelala for a drive there, and got spoilt with a wonderful sighting of the long-lost Shongile leopardess!  Once a regular near the lodge, we seldom see her now, although where we enjoyed our sighting on Ingwelala was less then 800m from Motswari’s northern boundary.

The beautiful Shongile on Ingwelala
Bearing in mind that one cant drive off-road on Ingwelala, Shongile was most obliging and we spent over an hour following her; she walked past a nice herd of elephants and then lay on a termite mound and watched some nearby impalas and zebra before stalking in.

Shongile enjoying a herd of elephants before stalking off after an impala herd
She rushed in and the impala scattered, but then stopped and all stared at her, snorting and alarm-calling like there was no tomorrow!  Shongile didn’t move out from behind the bush, as most leopards do when they have a kill, so we were convinced that she had a kill!  We pulled a bit forward and found her sitting on a termite mound quite nonchalant and seemingly oblivious to the concern she was causing the impalas!

Shongile not caring too much about the concern she is causing amongst the impalas
She eventually lay down to rest, no kill, and for about 15 minutes the impalas stood around her snorting to the high heavens!

Great African scene!
We eventually left to see if we could see a leopard that had killed an impala less than 2km away while we were watching Shongile, but had no luck; possibly Argyle Jnr as it was in the heart of her territory.  And while i was looking forward to bragging about all the leopards on Ingwelala to Grant - he shot me down when he told me that there were FIVE different leopard sightings to choose from on Motswari in the afternoon!
So all-in-all, not a bad welcome back to the bush!  I’m looking forward to getting out there again, but until then, will keep you posted about any sightings the other guides have!

1 comment:

  1. Hey, hey, hey!!! Welcome back Chad!!!
    Great way to kick off your time back in the bush.
    Lovely photos.