Sunday, 11 March 2012

10 March - 2 out of 3

Photo of the Day

Morning Drive
(Marka & Andrea)

Lion (Mafikizolo Pride) / Java – Java Dam – Corkwood Road on Karans

Afternoon Drive
(Marka, Grant & Andrea)

Lion (Mafikizolo Pride) / Java – Java Dam – Corkwood Road on Karans
Buffallo (small breeding herd) / Peru – Klipgat crossing
Leopard (Rock Fig Jnr) / Vielmeter – Just north of Double Highway

I started the morning drive heading towards Argyle dam, and just as we were crossing the river and observing some playful baboons, Marka called in to say he had lion tracks heading into De luca. I immediately turned around when and went to join the tracking expedition. We spent a good part of the morning tracking the solitary female. Eventually the tracks headed over the boundary. Luckily Giyani called in the Mafikizolo pride on Java, so we turned and headed that side.

One of the young male lions had an injured foot, and the pride seemed unsettled, which made viewing a little tricky. However, we still got some good views and eventually lost them as they headed into thick mopane. Stopping for drinks at Java dam, we found a terrapin resting on a log, soaking up the sun.

At lunch, my guests kindly requested that there were three animals they really wanted to see; giraffe, zebra and leopard. So, the afternoon became a mission to find these three. Unfortunately it did not start too much in our favour and by the time the sun was starting to disappear I started to get slightly worried. We were saved by a lone male giraffe near Hide Dam who graced us with his presence for some time. 1/3!

After a drinks stop, we slowly started heading homewards when Morne from Kings called in a female leopard. We were not too far, so a quick u-turn and we headed south. It was Rock Fig Jnr and by the time we got there, she had heading into deep thicket. We had a brief visual of her and then she disappeared. We could smell a slow rot and when we relocated her, she was feeding on a day-old impala kill. Unfortunately for us, the kill was on the ground. And because we were viewing her with the spotlight, we pulled out of the sighting quickly so that we would not attract hyenas in, although I think the smell would have done so very quickly.

Despite it being a short sighting, she was beautiful as always. 2/3. Feeling a little redeemed, we headed back to camp for dinner…hopefully we will find zebra tomorrow!

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