Thursday, 5 January 2012

4th January – Familiar Pattern!

Photo of the Day
Elephant calf

Morning Drive
(Chad, Petros, Shaddy and Grant)
2 x rhinos (2 females)
1 x breeding herd of elephant – Jaydee, Jaydee River Rd
6 x elephant bulls – Motswari, Trade Entrance Pan
5 x buffalo bulls – Motswari, Bush Braai

Afternoon Drive
(Chad, Petros and Shaddy)
5 x lions (Jacaranda Pride – 2 lionesses and 3 x sub-adults) – Ingwelala, Argyle Rd
1 x leopard (Mbali female) – Java, Machaton Cottage
2 x rhinos (relaxed males)
1 x rhino (relaxed male)
1 x breeding herd of buffalo – Peru, Hidden Away Pan
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Vielmetter, Dizzy Drive
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Java, Back of Java
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Java, Back of Java
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Vielmetter, 2nd Nhlaralumi Crossing
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Java, Peter Pan Access
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Java, Java Old Airstrip
4 x elephant bulls – Motswari, Camp

Daily Synopsis

This rather strange pattern of quiet mornings followed by great afternoons that has been about the last few days continued, and my very quiet morning was followed by another Big 5 Drive!
The morning saw me slowly drifting south, past Argyle Dam to see if Argyle Jnr was around, but all I got was wildebeest and impalas.  Criss-crossing Mbali and Java produced annoyingly little, and so I headed to the south to look for some rhinos that had been seen earlier, and managed to find them after a bit of searching, so spent time with them as they fed about.

 Carrying on, we found some zebras and giraffe, but as the morning was ticking on, we went for coffee and then headed back to camp, not managing to see any of the elephants that the others had picked up on.

Zebra and giraffe
The afternoon started off with a mission to go look for three lions a staff member (that wishes not to be named) had seen on the main tar road whilst taking Dave and Thea to the airport.  This anonymous person said it was three lioness, and I was a bit confused as to who they could be; I asked this person if she was sure there were only three and not five lions, to which she said yes, only three; as if to clarify her point, she retorted that there were three youngsters and the two adults...I couldn’t help but laugh!  Anyway, I took this aforementioned person out, and all was forgiven when we were lucky enough to find the lions!

Jacaranda, two, three...five lions
Sadly they were on Ingwelala side and we couldn’t off-road to see them, so the visual wasn't great, but we got to see them.  They then approached a waterhole on Ingwelala, and through all the trees, we also saw a male rhino and a buffalo there! 

Carrying on south, we responded to a breeding herd of buffalos and spent some time with them, but there wasn't much else about in the west.

Buffalo herd
I then headed to the Machaton Riverbed to see all the elephants that had gathered there, and was sitting enjoying them when Mbali leopardess was found not far off from our position, so after viewing the elephants, we went to see her.

Elephants aplenty in the south
Sadly she walked right onto the porch of the Geiger’s Machaton Cottage as we approached, and that was the end of our sighting before it even began!  I persisted after we saw a bushbuck run to the opposite bank, and in the fading light, Patrick spotted her tail sticking out of a bush and we at least got to see her!  While watching her, a hyena came walking past, and Mbali dropped to the grass and disappeared, and the hyena never even saw her and walked off!

We went for a drink and then headed back to camp, seeing only a small-spotted genet and more elephants along the way, but once more, the afternoon saved our day!

1 comment:

  1. Got my daily fix of wildlife. I love the way you portrait the individual animals. I can see that you saw a small-spotted genet. I saw one in captivity on Zanzibar some years ago and the look so unusual.