Wednesday, 21 December 2011

21st December – Ross Pride Looking MUCH Better!

Photo of the Day
Ross lioness - all looking much better!
Morning Drive
(Chad, Herold, and Marka)
10 x lions (Ross Pride – 1 male, 7 females and 2 cubs) – Umlani, Elloff
1 x breeding herd of buffalo – Jaydee, Ngulube Link East
1 x elephant bull – Argyle, Gina’s Rd

Afternoon Drive
(Chad, Grant and Herold)
1 x leopard (Makepisi male) – Peru, Lion Pan
1 x leopard (Argyle Jnr Female) – Argyle, Peru Entrance
2 x rhino (semi-relaxed males)
2 x buffalo bulls – Peru, Lion Pan
5 x buffalo bulls – Motswari, Camp
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Peru, Sohebele Dam
1 x elephant bull – Peru, Mvubu Crossing

Daily Synopsis
My last morning with my guests, and I was keen for some lions and hyenas; knowing that the hyena den had moved, but not sure where, I headed to Java to check to the old den site.  Going south, I detoured past Sohebele Dam, but only ticked off steenbuck and impala, as well as some nice birds.
Checking Java Dam and Java Airstrips produced nothing, and so I guess it was par for the course that the old hyena den site too had no activity.  On leaving the area, Umlani kindly invited us down to go and see the Ross Pride that had been found on their property.  It was a long way, but worth the trip seeing as lions have been so scarce of late!
Going through Vielmetter, we saw some impalas, giraffe, and a herd of wildebeest, but it was generally quiet.

Giraffe and wildebeest
Even Argyle Rd produced nothing more than a few nice birds and a herd of zebras.

Zebra herd
We arrived to find the lions sleeping in a relatively open patch amongst some bushes, and despite being warm, they still stayed in the open.  The large male was with them, and the pride looked in good shape – the buffalo feast clearly filled their bellies.

Ross Pride - looking much better
The very skinny female was not present, but the others that had looked so bad were looking much better.  The cubs were suckling milk from mom, but she soon decided to stop that – no doubt their little teeth are not so little anymore!
The only issue of coming all that way south was that we now needed to head all the way home!  I headed along Argyle Rd, but it was again dead quiet – only nearing Vyeboom Dam did we tick off some more waterbuck, impalas, crocodiles and good birds; all in all though, it was a quiet morning.

Starting afresh with a new group of guests, I could afford a chilled afternoon, and as the guests lapped up and enjoyed everything big and small, we did just that!
Starting off with nyala at the camp, we carried on and ticked off impalas, steenbuck, good birds and some fast-growing mopane worms!
We then went to Argyle Dam and spent some good time there watching baboons, hippo, impala, a wildebeest, waterbuck and a lone giraffe.

Hippo, baboons, impala, waterbuck and wildebeest around Argyle Dam
Moving on to Sohebele Dam, we had more impalas, waterbuck and a herd of elephants, but they were on a mission and moved into the mopane woodlands, but we had a nice sighting.

Elephant herd
The afternoon took a slightly frustrating turn in that all the animals that were found managed to be lost – Herold had two rhinos that ran off as Grant joined him; Makepesi male leopard was found by Herold at his favourite spot of late, but got chased into the riverbed by two buffalo bulls, and Argyle Jnr female leopard killed an impala but dragged it into a steep drainage line while Johannes was watching her!
I tried for the latter, but had no luck, so went to join Grant for a drink.  After that we tried for the young male leopard, but he too eluded us!  Waterbuck and impalas showed themselves, as did a well spotted chameleon that Patrick found, but it was a bit quiet.  Going past the area of Argyle Jnr again, we found her resting outside the drainage line, but as there was no sign of the kill up a tree, we didn’t stay and left her in peace; something to check up on tomorrow!
Argyle Jnr


  1. Glad to hear the Ross pride are looking better and I hope their condition keeps improving. I'm sad the skinny female was no where to be found, was she quite old?

    Love reading the blog and looking forward the the next one.

  2. Chad - a question - do the lions recover from TB or can it be treated in any way ?
    Hope you and the other Mots staff have a great Festive season - Dave and Katja