Tuesday, 3 April 2012

02 April - Little Carnivores

Photo of the Day
Morning Drive
(Shadrack, Herold, Marka, Giyani & Andrea)

Leopard (Nthombi female) / Vielmeter – Bushbaby Loop
Buffalo (Breeding Herd) / Vielmeter – Vielmeter Access Road

Afternoon Drive
(Shadrack, Herold, Marka, Giyani & Andrea)

Rhino (mother and youngster)
Lion (Xubasa female) / Vielmeter – Bluethorn Road

 Although still a little gusty, the sun was trying to pop her head out which was needed with the morning chill. The first part of drive was relatively quiet, with only a bit of general game out and about.  As we neared Lily Pan, the Kings guides called in Nthombi female leopard. My party of 7 from California had already been with me for two days and not yet seen leopard so I was one of the first to respond. As I made my approach, she was resting up on a rock on the bank of the Shlaralumi River and unfortunately she was facing the other way. Not long after we arrived she stood up and started calling for her cub. She then made her way down into the riverbed and towards the other side. This made following her impossible so we tried to loop around and catch up with her on the other side of the river. Shadrack and Tiyani followed on foot and saw Nthombi and her cub crossing back to where she had been resting on the rock earlier. I drove around once again to the eastern side of the riverbed and found her right next to the road. Sadly, the cub was no longer with her, however we were able to follow her nicely for a while until other vehicles came in to have a look. 

Heading slowly back up north we came across two male giraffe. The one had a broken horn, which looked relatively fresh and sore and he was feeling very sorry for himself. He must have got himself into quite a fight! Our last sighting of buffalo had been rather poor so we turned once again in attempt to view a herd not too far south from us and the giraffe. Initially a little nervous of us, the herd eventually settled and we enjoyed watching feeding, interactions and some overexcited males trying their luck (in vain) with the females.

Lion tracks had been seen following the buffalo, but with no luck of a glimpse we moved on for a drink instead. After a quick hot-chocolate stop at Hide Dam, we headed back up to camp. My plan in the afternoon was to find rhino, so I headed South West with high hopes. As we approached Vyeboom Dam, a small kudu herd appeared to our right. They were a little skittish, as Kudu are, and allowed for a brief view before retreating into thick riverine bush. Not long after, a lone male giraffe stood in the middle of the road. He also took fright and moved off, but we managed to see him for a goodly while before he too, wandered off. A rhino and her calf were called in on the radio – my problem being that they were incredibly far away. I really wanted my guests to see them however, so once again found myself on the drive south. On the way a family of Dwarf mongooses appeared out of a termite mound and we were able to watch a few of them for a little while. One small one sat in front of the car giving itself a good ear scratch.

Unfortunately, just as I was finally called in, the previous station lost visual of the rhino and her calf and could not relocate. Feeling disheartened, we stopped off for a drink break, but as I was about to turn off my radio, Marka let us know that he had found the white lioness, rather close to where we had just stopped for drinks. Putting the cooler box back on the car, we shot off back down the road to view her. She truly is one magnificent cat. Without time for drinks, we headed back on home.  

En route finding an African Wild Cat stalking a Scrub Hare. Despite the lack of photos, it was an amazing sighting. A genet also showed itself for a few seconds, before hiding behind a termite mound. This afternoon was a good example of how quickly things change out here in the bush – you never know what is around the bend!


  1. What has happened to the other white lioness and their male cousin??

  2. Nice photos Andrea... Pity about the Rhinos!


  3. The other white lion and tawny cousin have moved further south west into Klaserie, so we have not seen them for a while.

    Thanks for reading