Wednesday, 25 April 2012

24th April: A Late Summers Shower.

Pic Of The Day.
Morning Drive.

( Grant.)

Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Java – Back Of Java.

No Afternoon Drive.

Daily Synopsis.

Waking to the sound of rain dripping off my thatch roof I thought to myself our run of good form had now come to an end and that the morning drive would be cold, damp and lack any life form apart from our fellow passengers on the vehicle. Whilst having morning coffee the rain stopped and I was promised by John, our trusty night watchman, that he had temporally halted the rain for us for the next five hours and that we would have a dry game drive. Setting off it did appear that way as the clouds had lifted somewhat but on reaching the vantage point of the airstrip we could see it falling on the horizons all around us. Now was a good time for ponchos, getting them on just as the skies once again opened. It would have been ok should it just have been the rain but a stiff breeze, some would call it a gale, accompanied it. I was surprised nobody voiced their enthusiasm to return to camp at that point, as that is my rain rule, I'll drive until there is a consenses between my guests that they would like to return to the lodge. I guess it may have helped had I shared that little information in my introduction speech, but who expects rain in late April. So we continued with our mornings mission to find Giraffe and Hyena. We did not have to go far to find Giraffe as we came across a nice family group on the Southern side of our airstrip shortly after donning our ever attractive poncho's. 

Whilst sitting with them we could hear Hyena calling off to our West somewhere on Phiva Plains. I thought we could wrap this up quickly and be back in the warmth of the lodge within the first thirty minutes. When we ventured out onto the plains, with the rain now pelting down, we could not locate Ed or his friends, damn Murphy's Law! Not hanging around as we wanted to get ourselves heading in the right direction, so that the rain did not lash us in the face, we headed off to the East. Surprisingly we were not the only station driving and the majority of the camps were out and about. Even more surprisingly the animals seemed to be out as well, with a station in the South finding, Lion, Leopard and Rhino within the first forty five minutes of their drive. We did not do badly ourselves with nice sightings of Kudu, Giraffe, Waterbuck ( any buck this morning was a Waterbuck), Wildebeest, Zebra, Duiker and Elephant. The Elephant were on a mission and highly mobile so we did not spend much time with them. The others were all taking shelter from the rain with there rumps backed into the bush and all pointing North, all except the Wildebeest that is, they stood out in the open and thus enforced my thoughts they not the brightest “beests” out there. 

Reaching Hide Dam we thought this was a good spot to take a coffee break as we could shelter in the Hide itself. Great idea but soon after setting up the rain eased and then stopped, typical, we had now committed to the indoors and the humidity that came with it. Resuming after our warming cup of coffee we once again thought things would remain dry for the rest of the drive as the skies in the South had lightened. WRONG AGAIN! That clearing soon closed and the rain resumed harder than before. With our heads tucked in low we turned North learning from our mammal friends. This may have been a reason our sightings dropped from that point on, we did however find a nice tortoise, I guess with us all looking down we would. Stopping with him I went in to great detail all about tortoises and the difference between them, terrapins and turtles and how a tortoise lives on land while the other two live in water. It was only later, on finding another tortoise, that I realised my guests my not have been listening to me, or maybe it was a Freudian slip, that they called him a turtle. Personally, I did not think it was raining that much and although he was in a puddle of water it could hardly be classified as an ocean!

With a number of herds of Elephant found and a breeding herd of Buffalo as well, added to everything else that was out there, I could not have been more wrong about things being quiet and it would appear that even adverse conditions cannot bring an end to the good run we are on at the moment. Lets hope it continues.

I'll be off drive for the next couple days but I'll keep you all updated with a sightings report and a short description of the guys adventures, lets hope they will be as fun and exciting as mine have been over the past week.

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