Saturday, 21 April 2012

20 April - Reflections

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

Elephant (Breeding herd) / Peru – Lily Pan
Elephant (Kambaku) / Peru – Lily Pan
Elephant (4 Kambaku) / Motswari - Motswari Airstrip
Leopard (Shindzutu male) / Peru – Pan Road
Rhino (2 males)
Rhino (Mother and calf)

Afternoon Drive
(Shadrack, Herold & Andrea)

Buffalo (2 Daghaboys and 1 female) / Vielmeter – Sweet Water Pan
Elephant (Breeding Herd) /
Rhino (Mother & Calf)

What a marathon of a morning! All the Motswari guides seemed to split up across the reserve, each checking a different area. Other than some general game, the morning started off quite quietly. Then, Shadrack called in two young male rhino! I was quite far away but my guests had only seen rhino briefly at night so I decided to head in that direction. We stopped along the way at Lily Pan to watch a breeding herd of elephant and a trailing bull elephant drink. With no wind there were beautiful reflections across the water.

As we sat viewing the parched ellies, Grant found Shindzutu (Makepisi’s brother) further north. He was mobile but Grant seemed to be holding him nicely, and Herold was in the area too. I was in a quandary – my guests were dying to leopard but I knew it was a huge risk to chase back up north and skip out on the rhino sighting.  I decided to go for leopard seeing as though they had been so scarce in the past few days, as I drove I heard Herold’s excited voice across the radio announcing that Shindzutu had just killed a Sharpe’s Grysbok. I put foot! Unfortunately, the leopard shot off with his fresh kill and despite all efforts, he could not be relocated. You can imagine my disappointment, especially as I had just sacrificed the rhino sighting. 

Giyani had picked up the female rhino and her calf back down south, so once again the accelerator hit the floor and I shot off back down south to find the rhino! No one was in the lock when we reached the area but Jackie did some exceptionally quick tracking work and located the pair. We had a lovely view, although brief as we had to mission back up north again to get home in time for breakfast. At least my guests were happy, even if my diesel tank wasn’t, as the rhino and her calf is such a special sighting to witness.

The afternoon starting out by trying to relocate Shindzutu and his kill, but without luck. Pressed for time, I tried my best to relocate some giraffe on Vielmeter as giraffe was another high up request from my guests. Shadrack was in the same boat and the two of us spent most of the afternoon looking for the tall, spotted animals. Neither of us had any luck, although we did find a few buffalo resting up near Sweet Water Pan. This in itself was a relief, as my guests had not yet seen buffalo either! It has certainly been a quiet few days. With a magnificent sunset, we had a quick drinks stop and then once again tried to find leopard by spotlight. Instead we found an African Wild Cat and a Large-spotted genet!

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