Friday, 6 January 2012

5th January – Kuhanya Injured

Photo of the Day
Kuhanya resting with her injured foot
Morning Drive
(Chad, Petros, Shaddy and Grant)
1 x leopard (Ximungwe female) – Argyle, Woodpecker Rd
2 x rhinos (2 relaxed females)
2 x rhinos (2 relaxed males)
2 x rhinos (2 semi-relaxed males)
1 x breeding herd of elephant – Jaydee, Makulu Dam
1 x breeding herd of elephant – Vielmetter, Dizzy Drive
1 x breeding herd of elephant – Vielmetter, Bluewaxbill
1 x elephant bull – Java, Palm Crossing
1 x elephant bull – Jaydee, Hlaramisa Rd
1 x breeding herd of buffalo – Java, Java Airstrip
1 x breeding herd of buffalo – Jaydee, Hlaramisa Rd
4 x buffalo bulls – Jaydee, Madala Crossing
1 x buffalo bull – Peru, Lily Pan

Afternoon Drive
(Chad, Petros, Herold, Shaddy and Grant)
1 x leopard (Kuhanya female) – Motswari, Airstrip
1 x breeding herd of buffalo – Java, Buffalo Kill Rd
3 x buffalo bulls – Motswari, Camp
1 x buffalo bull – Motswari, Sharalumi Eastern Access
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Java, Airstrip
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Borneo, Mananga Cutline
3 x elephant bulls – Motswari, Airstrip Link
1 x elephant bull – Mbali, Garage Rd

Daily Synopsis
Today was a day that typically went against the trend of late, with the morning being busier than the afternoon; perhaps it was the windy weather that played havoc with the animals?  Anyway, it was a fair day of viewing for the guests and guides.
The morning was a morning full of sightings, but they were quite polarised between the far north and far south, with little in the middle.  Petros stayed in the north and got to see the slightly nervous Ximungwe female, and a crash of two male rhinos while following her!
I headed a bit further south, but not far enough – the southern stations were treated to sightings of two breeding herds of buffalo, elephants, Umfana male leopard, Mtenga-tenga male rhino, and best of all, Rockfig Jnr that showed her two new cubs for the first time, but they are all the way south on Tanda Tula!
I was a bit more central and didn’t tick off all that much (sorry, I also accidentally deleted my photos before downloading them!!!), but did see my first White Storks of the season, impala herds, impalas, hippo and waterbuck.

Impala and white storks
A trip down Giraffe Kill Rd showed little besides impalas and leopard tracks, and even Makulu Dam was dead quiet.  Grant picked up two rhinos nearby, so I went to join him, and while watching them, a herd of buffalos came feeding past, surrounding the rhinos, and an elephant bull also joined the scene!
Shadrack had some lovely elephants near Hide Dam that I was heading to after coffee, but I ran out of time, and simply skirted past the herd, as well as all the wildebeest, giraffes and zebras that were scattered in the area. 
Heading back north I also had a new appreciation for just how dry things are getting in our northern traversing!  I do hope that the rains come back soon to even out the food and water with the south, otherwise it will be a long winter!
Expecting a lot from the afternoon, I headed to the north-west to see if we could get lucky with some lions returning to our area, but had no luck, in fact I wasn't seeing much at all – impalas, a few kudu, giraffe and waterbuck, along with the hippos at Mbali Dam, but it was a quite first hour and a half to the drive.  Most stations were gravitating towards two rhinos and some buffalo bulls near Makulu Dam, but Marka changed that when he found Kuhanya leopardess on our airstrip, so the stations went towards her (ironic then that Mbali was later found near the rhinos!).

Giraffe, hippos, elephant bull and kudu
I also moved back north, seeing only an elephant and impalas on the way.  I arrived to find the leopard stalking a lone male impala, but when he ran off to join a nearby herd, her urgency ceased, and we then got to notice that she was limping.

Kuhanya - looking good, but nursing some wounds, particularly on her front left paw
Wounds on her belly and torso speak of a recent fight, but her swollen and injured front left paw were of a concern for us, and she simply spent the rest of the evening sleeping just off the airstrip.

Kuhanya licking her wounds
Grant and I were a bit concerned about her injuries, but John soon reported back that despite her limp, she was doing well!  Our star night-watchman had found her after she caught and killed a bird and took it up a tree right in the middle of camp, only to have a large male leopard come in and chase her away...all of this while we sat enjoying our scrumptious dinner in the boma about 80m away!
Despite her wounds, she is a fighter, so I am sure she will pull through!


  1. I hope she will be OK Chad. She is gorgeous, and it is always a pleasure to view photos of her on the blog!
    Do you guys have any idea who the fight might have been with? Another female maybe in the same teritory? Or the male that came and stole the bird?


  2. A concerned John and Sue in England will be willing Kuhanya's recovery, her picture is on our desktop!

  3. hi chad glad to hear that the injury is not life threatening, any more photos of Shongile - I just love her so much