Monday, 12 March 2012

11 March - Sunrise & Stripes

Photo of the Day
Morning Drive
(Marka, Grant & Andrea)

Lion (2 Jacaranda Sub-Adults) / De Luca – Argyle Road
Buffalo (Daghaboy) / Vielmeter – Steep Shlaralumi
Elephant (Breeding Herd) / Argyle – Crossing below Argyle – Western Sohebele

Afternoon Drive
(Marka, Grant & Andrea)

Lion (2 Jacaranda Sub-Adults) / Argyle Road – opposite Ingwelala entrance
Elephant (Breeding Herd) / Argyle – Argyle Dam
Elephant (Kambaku) / Vielmeter – Elephant Dam
Buffalo (Daghaboy) / Argyle – Madache Dam
Buffalo (Daghaboy) / Jaydee – Jaydee River Road
Buffalo (Daghaboy) / Peru – Giraffe Kill
Ingwe (Male) / Vielmeter – Lucky’s Road 

Needing to find zebra, I headed straight to Karans where we usually find a herd on the open grass area. Luckily they were there, along with a solitary male wildebeest and a herd of impala. We watched them as the sun rose.

Marka’s lion luck continued and he called in two sub-adults on the radio. As we arrived though, they had headed into very thick mopane (seems to be a trend here!) and I repositioned the car to the best possible spot, and were viewed their heads popping out of the thick grass. The two lion were very sleepy and you could see their heads slowly nodding as the heat of the day began to creep in.

Moving towards Peru, we found a beautiful group of giraffe out in the open, with waterbuck, kudu and impala nearby. It was quite a scene and I sat wishing for a wide-angles lens to try to capture them all! En route back to camp, just as we were about to pass the crossing below Aryle, a group of elephants blocked our way as they drank in the river. It was a pleasant surprise and we watched them until the crossing was open and we could pass. Grant responded to the herd, and as he rounded the corner, found that the herd had been split when I viewed them and in reality it was a massive herd of 50 plus elephants. Incredible!He also radioed to let me know that there were Zebra on our airstrip so to top things off I did a little loop to view the small herd to the delight of my guests! 3/3, Phew!

With new guests having arrived this afternoon, it was back to square one again. We started by checking the area just off the tar road where we had seen the lion sub-adults in the morning. With no luck, and a few tentative moments as the Landy began to sink in thick sand, we turned and headed back towards Argyle Dam where a large herd of elephant had been seen. It was a beautiful sighting with some tiny babies, no more than a few months old. There was a lot of interaction between the elephants and there is nothing more awe striking than sitting in amongst an enormous herd while they feed around you and communicate with each other through deep rumbles. As we sat enjoying the elephant, Dave radioed to let us know that he had been informed of the two sub-adult lion who had now been spotted about 300m further west from where we had just checked.

Although slightly frustrated at this, we turned once more and headed exactly back to where we had come from. Just off the tar road were the two lion, who eventually sauntered onto the road, and continued to walk west. They got a huge fright when a human appeared on foot from Ingwelala, and this caused them to bolt off into the bush where they then lay down revealing only two ears popping out from the grass. It was already quite dark by the time we left the lion and after a quick drinks stop we headed home via De Luca. It was a rather slow trip home as what seemed to be every nightjar in the Timbavati had taken rest on my chosen path!

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