Monday, 9 April 2012

08 April - Leopard's Leap

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

Leopard (Machaton Male) / Mbali  - Moenie Jag Crossing
Leopard (Nthombi Female) / Jaydee – Khona Bubesi
Elephant (Breeding Herd) / Jaydee – Jaydee airstrip
5 Rhino

Afternoon Drive
(Grant, Herold, Chad & Andrea)

Leopard (Makepisi male) / Mbali – Buffalo Kill
Rhino (Mother & calf) / Karans – Zebra Entrance
Lion (Mafikizolos) / Kings – Eastern Cutline

I headed out with no concern, we had had such a great evening drive the night before that a quiet one was not going to bother me in the slightest. I stopped spiders, porcupine quills and termite mounds, which are now steaming in the morning chill. We found some beautiful nyala near Evukekeni and I only started down Western Cutline after Chad called in a male leopard. We could see the tracks along the cutline, and Chad saw him for a while before Machaton Male headed off into a thick drainage line. Chad’s car was clearly where to be this morning as after the leopards he found 5 rhino! I continued towards Argyle Dam to visit our local hippo raft and check on how the little one is doing. The mother and baby are now with the rest of the group in the deeper water and we witnessed the youngster popping its head out of the water every now and then.

The raft of hippo were quite huddled together, and a cormorant dried itself off on a nearby rock making for an interesting shot.  The rest of the morning was quiet expect for the odd waterbuck and impala herds. After a drinks stop at Viool Dam, I responded to a female leopard sighting, just to finish the morning off. Nthombi female was up in a tree and gave us a great view. The sighting was a wonderful way to finish off our morning drive. I was however running quite late so once again found myself hurrying along back to camp in time for breakfast.

The afternoon was a relaxed, leisurely drive. I was quite close to a rhino sighting when it was called in so decided to attempt a response. Unfortunately we only got a glimpse of two rhino rear ends trotting off. Chad had been more lucky to get a better view, but seeing as though it was a different mother and youngster than the usual relaxed two that we regularly, we did not want to push her. It was a little disappointing as it had been such a poor sighting and we did not get the opportunity to see any other big game this afternoon. We did however, get to see a lone hyena, a black mamba and a chameleon.

Herold found Makepisi male on Mbali which made viewing difficult. Chad and Herold had a great view of the young male feeding on a kill up in a tree. Grant headed down to Kings to visit the Mafikizolo pride and their giraffe kill.

You will all be incredibly pleased to hear that Grant is taking over the blog from tomorrow. Thanks for putting up with me for the last few weeks, it has been great fun. I know I am no Chad or Grant at photography but I hope I have been able to give you a little glimpse of my experience out here.

See you all soon,


  1. Great sightings ... seems the motto must change from "Chad must be on leave" to "Chad's back!!"
    . Nthombi is such a beautiful lady and seems very relaxed. Love the chameleon and thanks for keeping us posted Andrea.

  2. Thank you, Andrea, for providing endless treats and eloquent commentary. We are hooked and look forward to your return!