Monday, 16 April 2012

15th: The Run Around.

Pic Of The Day.

Morning Drive.

( Shadrack.)

Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Motswari – Marula Pan.
Elephant ( Kambaku's) / Motswari – Motswari Dam.
Buffalo ( Dagha Boy) / Umlani – Madala Kaya.
Lion ( Machaton Pride) / Umlani – Donga Lookout.

Afternoon Drive.

( Grant, Shadrack & Andrea.)

Leopard ( Makipi's Male) / Peru – Appleleaf Rd.
Elephant ( Kambaku) / Peru – Argyle Rd.
Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Rockfig – Argyle Rd.
Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Peru – Woza Woza Cutline.
Lion ( Machaton Pride: 3 x Females & 7 x Sub Adults) / Umlani – Donga Lookout.

Daily Synopsis.

Another great morning out in the bush and this was only a half of what was out there on offer. That being half of what we found, who knows what we didn't. Not wanting to curse things but it looks like we are on the turn around, touch wood. We'll see when Jacky and I return to drive this afternoon for a couple of days. Jury is still out.

Looking forward to getting out there we set off from camp heading to the West to follow up on Makipi's and his brother Shindzuti, who had been found in the morning with a young male Impala kill. Both Andrea and I planned to visit the Leopards and then make our way far South to visit the Machaton Pride, also a find from the morning. Not exactly the way we both like to conduct our first drive but these days you take Lion when you can get it, especially when your guests are staying two nights or less.

Shadrack having seen them in the morning was on a mission to find Elephant and then keep looking around to see if he could pick up any sign for the male Lions that had entered our traversing area the day before.

Meanwhile our plan was going accordingly with Makipi's being relocated very close to where he had been left in the morning and by the time we joined the sighting he had returned to the remains of the Impala carcass, which was only a couple of legs and a rib cage held together by a string of coat. It had been hoisted up into a Tamboti tree and did not offer any great photographic opportunities but the sighting itself was fantastic as he tried to precariously balance in the tree while getting his mouth around the ribs. Reminded me of Herold and Chad at lunch. Having had ourselves a great sighting and still having to travel to the other side of the world and back, we took our leave.

Jacky and I had prepared ourselves to find things along the way, as you always see plenty of stuff when you have somewhere to be. First up was a lone Elephant Bull, shorty followed by a breeding herd of Elephant. We then caught a break when things went quiet but this was undone by the most relaxed Jackal I've seen here in the Timabavati. Usually they see a vehicle approaching and high-tail it in the opposite direction but on this occasion he barely lifted himself to get out the road and stood nonchalantly next to it waiting for us to pass as if he was going to return to his resting place and how dare we interrupt his afternoon siesta.

Eventually managing to get away we arrived at the Lion sighting shortly after a typical autumn evening sunset. They had changed positions from where they had been in the morning obviously the heat getting to much for them, so they decided to move into the coolness of the riverbed with it's shade from the large surrounding trees. Their overheating could also have been due to the very round tummies of all of them clearly having eaten well over night and were now suffering the effects of indigestion. We sat with them while they lay in the riverbed not getting up to much apart from occasional lifting a head or two but this was short lived as they returned to sleep. With the sun having already set and it getting dark quickly it did not look like these Lions were going to stir any time soon. With a long way home we took our leave stopping for a quick nightcap along the way.

The rest of the gang had themselves pretty much a similar afternoon except that they all found different groupings of Rhino, this was unfortunate though as they were all after dark and they could not view them as we don't shine the spotlight on them. We also found ourselves a breeding herd of Buffalo but again this was once the sun had set and we to could not view them. Least we know they are there and it is something for us to follow up in the morning.

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