Friday, 10 February 2012

09th February: Not Playing Along.

Pic of the Day.
Morning Drive.

( Andrea & Shadrack.)

Elephant ( Kambaku's) / Motswari – Motswari Airstrip.
Buffalo ( Dagha Boys) / Mbali – Western Cutline.

Afternoon Drive.

Buffalo ( Dagha Boy) / Argyle – Argyle Dam Lookout.
Buffalo ( Breeding Herd) / Peru – Long Rd.
Lion ( 2 x Sub Adult Female Mafikizolo) / JayDee – Argyle Rd.
Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Argyle – Peru Entrance.

Daily Synopsis.

Howdy all Grant here, back to blogging duties for the next week or two. So................... As you all may of heard things here have changed somewhat! Some call it destruction and devastation, I like to think of it more as natural change providing us with a number of exciting challenges that are different from our day to day lives!

Not being on morning drive it sounded like they had themselves a pretty quiet one specially after the excitement of the previous nights Lion kill that they got to witness. Think Chad commonly refers to it as The Hangover the day after.

With Jacky and I being the only drive out in the afternoon things were going to be challenging. There was help in the form of Giyani who was driving our self catering camp, Java. So while he checked our Southern traversing we stuck to the North to see what we could find.

Having found Buffalo tracks while out on Bush work in the morning heading towards Sohobele Plains we slowly headed in that direction to see if we could get lucky with the herd on the plains or along the river as the mercury had sharply risen during the day. Checking around Argyle Dam I received a message from the one and only, Pete, our previous intern, that he had seen the Buffalo in Flooded Crossing while on his way to visit at Motswari. Not being far away we headed in their direction and soon found them as they slowly awoke from their afternoon nap in the shallow water of the river and started to head off to the East for their afternoons feeding. Heading into an area of many wet seepage lines we thought it better not to follow as we thought our new guests were not ready for that adventure yet!

Turning to the North West we decided to follow up on the Jacaranda Pride who we thought would not have moved far after their meal of two Impala's. The trackers had followed up a little on their tracks before drive but had lost them in a very rocky area. Checking to the North they found no tracks coming out so they had to be within the block they had lost the tracks. Leaving it late and with the temperatures having dropped we hoped to catch them on the move from their secret location. Spending considerable time checking all the roads in the area we came up empty handed and eventually headed off further West to check on Voeldam.

Having to reroute from our intended path due to washed away roads we headed further South so that we could cross back to the East. It was during this detour that we caught a glimpse of two sub adult lions walking through the long grass. Once again they were in a region of a lot of wet seepage lines and if to make things better they were heading in the direction of our Western traversing boundary which was two hundred meters away. Our best chance to view them was to head for our boundary road and hope to get there before they crossed. Choosing the perfect line Jacky got us through on dry land and we made it to the tar road just in time to watch them emerge from the thick stuff and walk across the road in front of us. Being members of the Mafikizolo Pride they are not that relaxed and crossed directly across the road and disappeared without hesitation into the thick surrounding vegetation. Not what I'd call a great Lion sighting.

The rest of our drive was to remain as frustrating as we found a nice herd of Elephant. Unfortunately it was after dark and as we don't view them once the sun has gone under we had to leave them. Come to think of it now, we did have a nice sighting of an African Wildcat shortly before closing down.

So the animals are out there it is just catching them in the right area and the right time. We will have to work on that in the morning!

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