|Photo of the Day|
(Herold, Grant, Chad & Andrea)
Elephant (Kambaku) / Argyle Road, south of Ntsiri airstrip
Buffalo (4 Daghaboys) / Motswari – Giraffe Pan
Elephant (Kambaku) / Peru – Bulala Road
Elephant (Kambaku) / Peru – Peru Entrance Road
Cheetah (one with kill) / Vielmeter – Just east Vielemert Khaya
Lion (Mafikizolo with kill) / Kings – Eastern Cutline
Lion (Machaton Pride) / Tanda Thula – Jackalsvlei
Elephant (Breeding Herd) / Vielmeter – Grasslands Road
Elephtant (2 Kambaku) / Argyle – Argyle Dam
Elephtant (1 Kambaku) / Vielmeter – Dizzy Drive
Buffalo (Breeding Herd) / King - Jackalsvlei
My mission this morning was to find lion, so started by heading out to the tar road. We soon found tracks on an area where sand had blown over the road. I spent the next hour following these tracks onto the dirt road, and continuing east until they turned off north onto a property on which I could not follow. It was pretty disappointing as my guests were leaving today and they had not seen lion. The tracks were incredibly fresh and the lion could not have been far either. We turned back, hoping to find some luck further down Argyle Road. Although there were no lion, we did see a small group of Kori Bustards.
Further down, a rhino walked across the road in front of us. It was such a quick sighting, I didn’t even get a photo! Unfortunately it crossed into Klaserie and I could not hold it for anyone else. A bull elephant also fed along Argyle as well as a small herd of Zebra. Other guys were also trying to follow up on lion tracks but no luck for us this morning. It has been generally quiet across the reserve in the last few days which certainly makes our jobs a little tricky, but you never know what the next drive will bring so hopefully we get more luck this afternoon.
It always amazes me how quickly things change out here in the bush. From no lions this morning, two different sightings had been found in the afternoon. However, both were on Kings property. They had invited us down, so there was a mass exodus down south. On my way down, as I passed Vielmeter Camp, one of the owners radioed to call in “ station who has just driven past Vielmeter camp”. I nervously replied thinking I had done something wrong, instead she had radioed to inform us of monkeys alarm calling next to her camp. I immediately turned around to check the area. As I turned the corner, we found the most incredible and unlikely sight; a cheetah with a kill. It was spectacular. Her cub was not with her, but the adult was tucking into her meat very contently, but still vigilant. We sat watching her feed, sit and and then walk a few paces before lying down, belly full. A cheetah was the last thing I thought I would be seeing on my afternoon drive.
Some elephant were seen close by so after an amazing cheetah sighting, we pushed on to the elephant. We found the breeding herd slowly feeding to the north. A youngster no more than a couple of months was full of energy, following after its mother. It was a beautiful view.
I still wanted to see the lion though, as we know how scarce they have been recently so we pushed on down to Kings property. The Mafikizolo female and male were on a giraffe kill. With the putrid smell of stomach contents we watched as the male tore into the giraffe’s belly. It was quite a sight! I sat there in disbelief, trying to convey to my guests just how lucky our drive had just been.
Being far south, we skipped drinks and hurried back along Western Cutline home. Grant had travelled further south to see the Machaton Pride on Tanda Thula property, which he reportd was a lovely sighitng in a very beautiful part of the reserve. He also managed to see a breeding herd of buffalo on that side as well. This is more how we know the Timabavati to be, so hopefully it stays that way!
See you all tomorrow,