Saturday, 14 April 2012

13th April: Wrapping Things Up Nicely.

Pic Of The Day.
Morning Drive.

( Grant, Marka, Robin & Godfrey.)

Elephant ( Kambaku's) / Peru – Peru Entrance.
Buffalo ( Dagha Boys) / Peru – Giraffe Kill Rd.
Rhino ( Male) / Argyle – Buffalo Pan Access.
Leopard ( Makipi's Male) / Mbali – False Marula.

Afternoon Drive.

( Marka, Shadrack & Godfrey.)

Rhino ( Male) / Peru – Wild West.
Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Vielmieter – JayDee Access.
Elephant ( Kambaku) / Peru – Lily Pan.
Buffalo ( Dagha Boy) / Peru – Mbali River Rd.

Daily Synopsis.

Having tracked Kuhanya & her new boyfriend for the past couple of days must be playing on me as she appeared in my dreams last night. So setting off on drive in the morning we chose to stick to the North and her favourite areas in and around Motswari, hoping it was rather a premonition than a dream. While we did not come up with any tracks for her we did find tracks for her boyfriend, looks like the romance may be over, unfortunately they were right on our North Western boundary and headed off into Ingwelala. Continuing to look we slowly drifted off to the West past Vyeboom Dam and Buffalo Pan, having not driven our Northern boundary for some time we decided to check along it to see what we could find. We again found tracks for another male Leopard but as was with the previous one's they too disappeared into Ingwelala, good morning to be driving around there.

A little further down the road Goodman stopped me for Rhino tracks, I waited while he examined the tracks and then got a call to come look. On closer examination we decided they were very fresh as we found a spot where he had scraped and urine sprayed, the ground and surrounding grass still being wet. As Goodman is still new to the area he does not know the roads so he can't go tracking by himself yet but I could see he was dying to put his abilities to work so I agreed to join him. We knew we had to be fast as we had guests sitting on the vehicle waiting and the fact the Rhino was travelling and not feeding and they can cover a fair distance in a very short amount of time. We again found where he had urine sprayed, this time on top of a Mopane shrub, it indicated we were very close as the urine was still milky white and had not even run off the leaves. Quickening our pace we found him as he passed through a Terminalia thicket down into a drainage line. We approached closer to try identify the individual but it appeared new to me. We were now faced with a dilemma as the car was now about a kilometre away and the Rhino was still moving away from us. Does Goodman continue to follow while I go back and fetch the car, risking the fact that I may have to then track both of them, or do we both run back to the vehicle and drive around and check the roads he was heading towards hoping luck would be on our side. Not fancying having to track the two of them we both ran back. Returning with the vehicle to an area he was headed we found the spot where he had crossed the road still travelling as opposed to feeding. We once again chose to head off on foot and try relocate him. This time though we had learnt and every two hundred metres I would run back and fetch the vehicle so there would not be so big a space between the two of us should we find him. Goodman went about following his Rhino once again, and would loose the tracks on occasion but would patiently return to his last track and relocate from there. Through his calm and collected approach coupled with his perseverance it was not long before we relocated on him. We ran back for the vehicle and then approached very apprehensively fearing it may be a skittish visitor. When he became aware of us he turned and faced the vehicle, head up and ears forward, we were waiting for him to turn and crash through the bushes but instead he dropped his head to the ground and slowly started to feed as if we were never there. We continued to follow him through some very thick bush in a drainage line and he did not even flinch. He finally stopped on a very well grassed termite mound where he fed on the nutritious grass. It also enabled us to get a better view of him out in the open. I still cannot tell you who he is, what I can tell you though is that it's not the first time he has seen a vehicle. 

After enjoying the benefits of our tracking we decided to head back to the East and visit Makipi's Male who had been found while we were out tracking. Along the way there we were in for a treat as we found Waterbuck, Impala, Giraffe and Zebra all in very close proximity to one another. Stopping to enjoy them may have cost us our sighting of the Leopard though as shortly before getting to the sighting he was lost in a very thickly vegetated drainage line. Lucky for us our guests were not perturbed as they had seen three different Leopard in the four nights that they had stayed with us, plus a multitude of other amasing things, which included the “ Big Seven.” It would have been nice to wrap up there final drive though but instead we decided to take a late coffee break with the Hippo's in Argyle Dam, which is a close second!

I'll not be on drive this afternoon and will only be returning to action again on Sunday but I'll continue to keep you updated with the sightings report and a short description of the guy's adventures. 

1 comment:

  1. The Anson Family14 April 2012 at 11:46

    Many thanks for a truly magical experience.
    We have arrived back in Manchester now and cannot believe what we saw. Lions, Leopards, Rhinos, Elephant, Buffalo, Giraffe, Zebra, 3 Cheetah and to top it off the pack of African WIld dogs.
    Many thanks to you, Goodman and Jacky for all your hard work and knowledge.
    We will definitely be back at Motswari in the future
    Andy, Lisa and the kids