Wednesday, 15 February 2012

11th February: All Good Things Come To Those That Wait!

Photo of the Day
Mafikizolo Lioness
Morning Drive.

( Grant.)

Lion ( Mafikizolo Pride, 2 x Males & Female.) / Argyle – Western Sohobele.
Elephant ( Kambaku) / Motswari – Motswari Southern Access.

Afternoon Drive
(Andrea, Chad and Johannes)
3 x lions (Mafikizolo Pride) – Argyle, Argyle Dam
1 x elephant bull – De Luca, Western Cutline
Daily Synopsis.

So D-Day had arrived lucky it was to the calling of Lions not far from camp. It had started around 02h30 in the morning and continued until shortly after 05h00. With our guests checking out early our morning drive was to be a shortened so we decided to leave earlier to try give us time to find the many things we had missed out on. Having pin pointed the region that we thought the calls were originating from we headed directly in that direction. Luckily this time it was within our traversing area and not near any boundaries, we also had time on our side and the only unforeseeable problem could be that they were in an inaccessible area. Guess we would have to wait and see.

Heading out towards Argyle Dam we thought they would be either on Phiva Plains or Sohobele Plains. Our questions were quickly answered though as we descended from Argyle Lookout onto the plains and found them moving away from the waters edge where they had been taunting the Hippo. When we initially set out Jacky and I thought we were looking for the Maghlatini's but there in front of us stood three of the members of the Mafikizolo Pride. They must have walked a considerable distance during the night as they were the ones we were tracking the previous evening on Java. Not that we complaining we had finally found our Lions out in the open of Phiva Plains. Finding them early meant everyone was still far off and we were able to sit with them for a considerable time. During this period they still showed great interest in the Hippo responding to their calls and movement in the nearby water. At one point they all went down to the waters edge but on this occasion it was to drink water before heading off to the shelter of a nearby Mopane thicket where it looks like they will spend the rest of the day. With the other stations arriving we took our leave having enjoyed a great Lion sighting.


With time being limited we once again pushed down to Java wanting to check Java Dam for any signs of the Wilddog. They had also found tracks for three Rhino in the vicinity so if we didn't get lucky with the one maybe we would with the other. Once in the region we checked all the surrounding roads but to no avail and with time finally running out we turned back North and headed for camp. Shortly before reaching camp we found ourselves an Elephant Bull feeding on Maroelas while sitting with him we received news that tracks for the Wilddogs had been found. Not surprisingly they were on top of our vehicle tracks so once again our timing was that little bit out and they had got the better of us! I guess you can't have it all though and having had the Lion sighting we had we were more than happy. Anyway least there is something to look forward to on afternoon drive.

With a mix up with the bookings it looks like my intended guests only arrive tomorrow and therefore we did not head out on afternoon drive. Chad, Andrea and Johannes did though all be it a little bit late. So I'm going to leave the blog to Chad for the next day and a half, we'll catch you Monday.

Thank you Grant (I feel like a sports commentator doing this in tandem!)...and while I had been thinking of a title for this blog, your chosen one was more apt than you realised!  As Grant said, our group arrived late, so we set off a little after 5pm, and luckily for us, the Mafikizolo Pride had been not far off in the morning, so we didn’t need to go all that far to see some game!
We took it easy to start off, and bumbled about in the north – Johannes had a large elephant bull, but all I got to see was him bum as he walked off into the bush.  Impalas and some nice birds showed themselves, but as the light was fading, I decided to rather head towards the lions at Argyle Dam.
As I said, Grant chose a good title, and the lions must have been thinking this too –  “good things come to those that wait” – as all three lions sat on the waters edge...waiting.

Mafikizolo Male

The reason they were waiting was the equivalent of putting a child in a candy store and telling him he can look, but cant touch; and this was due to the fact that the three lions were looking longingly at a dead buffalo carcass...sadly for them, it was in the middle of the dam, with not only a pod of hippos nearby, but also a massive crocodile sleeping in the water next to it!

Close but no cigar - Mafikizolo's sitting watching a dead buffalo in Argyle Dam
We enjoyed a nice sighting of these now very-relaxed lions in the open, but eventually left to go and drink as the sun faded and the lightening built up in the sky around us...oh dear!

Young Mafikizolo lioness - much more relaxed and confident around the vehicles now!
After drinks, we headed back to camp, and bypassing Argyle Dam again, we could see the lions still lying watching the dead buffalo (whose death remains a mystery), and although the hippos were now out grazing on the grass, the lions were not prepared to risk going into the water for the free would good things really come if they waited long enough, like Grant?
The lightening continued to flash and a few rain drops fell as we sped up our arrival back at camp, and just in time, as a short while later we had a brief downpour of 10mm of rain – just enough to wet the bush, but thankfully not to flood anything.

Impalas and hippo out the water around Argyle Dam
There is a forecast for more rain tomorrow, but let us wait and see if our weatherman has gotten any better in his predictions!

1 comment:

  1. I don't speak english very well but i try, THANKS FOR THESE GREAT AND BEAUTIFUL PICTURES!!!!tHEY'RE ADORABLES. I love lions, it was the best gift!
    Thank you,
    Marina(maia afrika facebook) Argentina