Saturday, 7 April 2012

06 April - Cheetah!!!

Photo of the Day             

Morning Drive
(Herold, Grant, Chad & Andrea)

Rhino (Mother & calf)
Cheetah (Mother & Cub) / Karans – Crossing
Elephant (Kambaku) / Scholtz – Kudu Pan

Afternoon Drive
(Herold, Grant, Chad & Andrea)

Buffalo (Daghaboy) / Mbali – Buffalo Kill
Elephant (Breeding herd) / Peru – Hippo Rocky Road
Lion (Solitary Male) / Argyle Road south of Ntsiri airstrip

Our night watchman, John, had heard a leopard calling in the early hours of the morning. This meant that the first part of the drive was checking around Motswari in hopes of catching up with the leopard. Unfortunately it yielded nothing, not even a track! I was just heading to check Ingwelala airstrip when Jimmy from Simbavati called in two cheetah. They had just crossed into an area only one Motswari vehicle at a time is allowed in. This made things a little tricky as Jimmy could not follow and only one of us could hold the sighting. Luckily Herold was nearby as was able to hold them Johannes. I was in the predicament that Herold and I were driving a group and it never good when one vehicle sees something that the other doesn’t. So, off I rushed in the direction of the cheetah. My timing was good because as I came close, the cheetah moved into the riverbed which could then be viewed from Western Cutline. Although we got a great view, it was still a little too far away for great shots but the sighting itself was so special, it didn’t seem to matter. For my first cheetah sighting in the Timbavati, it was a good one. 

Heading on, Patrick spotted fresh rhino tracks. They were from the mother and calf. After about 30 min of tracking we climbed back into the vehicle to find out that Chris had found the two rhino. We were able to get a great view of the two of them, especially when they strolled up onto a termite mound. The little ones horn is just starting to grow. 


The afternoon was frustratingly quiet. The buffalo found on Mbali had disappeared by the time I got there and the elephant were too far south for me to respond. Other guys had more luck in terms of timing their sightings and Herold got glimpse of a male lion as he passed across the main road. Every now and then we get a humbling drive, reminding us of the unpredictability and wildness of this area. We are certainly no zoo, and this afternoon proved that!

See you all tomorrow,

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