Thursday, 19 April 2012

18 April - Flexible Giraffe

Photo of the Day
Morning Drive
(Shadrack & Andrea)

Elephant (3 Kambaku) / Motswari – Xinatsi Dam Access
Elephant (Breeding Herd) / Motswari – Northern Acess
Lion (2 sub-adult Jacaranda) / Peru – No Name Road

Afternoon Drive
(Grant & Andrea)

Elephant (2 Kambaku) / Vielmeter – Mangawane Road
Elephant (Breeding Herd) / Vielmeter – Jiga Jiga Road
Elephant (Breeding Herd) / Motswari – airstrip linkPhoto of the Day

Today was certainly not my best photo day so instead I am going to have to entertain with words. Two of my guests really wanted to see leopard so that was the main incentive. There have been quite a number of elephant herds around and so we started off drive with 2 large Kambaku close to camp. They were very relaxed and we sat watching them feed for a decent amount of time. It always baffles me how incredibly quiet and graceful such a large animal can be. We bumbled along, desperately looking for any sign of leopard, checking Makepisi usual hang out spots.
With no luck, and running out of time we headed back through Mbali where we found two male giraffe fighting. It was a n incredible sight. Starting off slowly bumping into each other, they picked up intensity as they walloped each other with their heads. We could hear the force of each blow and the harder they hit each other, the louder the cries of surprise from my guests erupted at the back of the Landy. We sat with them for ages, marveling at the display.
Eventually we left the sparring pair in attempt to join a lion sighting nearby. It was the two sub-adults again and we found them walking along the road. It was at this unfortunate point that my camera battery died on me. One of the lionesses suddenly shot off to the side and had her head deep in a knob thorn scrub. She eventually emerged with a small leopard tortoise, which he sat crunching as blood dripped off her shin. The two are too young to be bringing down larger prey so at this point they will feed on anything they can get their paws on!

The afternoon proved a little disastrous as we shot off down south responding to a leopard sighting. However, as we arrived, the previous stations lost the visual and we spent the next hour trying in vain to relocate. It was rather frustrating as we then sacrificed other potential sightings in order to try find the leopard. We did however, have a great drinks stop where Jackie entertained us with some rather unconventional methods to avoid crocodiles! En route home we passed a breeding herd of elephant and sat for a few minutes listening to the sounds on the powerful animals striping leaves and bark off mopane trees. A couple of scrub hares later and we were back at camp, only to be met by another breeding herd of elephant who were feeding in and around camp. We had to be extra cautious last night walking around as the elephant were clearly enjoying the buffet of trees Motswari has to offer!

See you all again tomorrow,

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