Wednesday, 2 May 2012

01st May: The Timbavati Of Old!

Pic Of The Day.
Morning Drive.

( Grant & Herold.)

Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Peru – Woza Woza Cutline.
Buffalo ( Dagha Boy) / Java – Western Cutline.
Buffalo ( Dagha Boy) / DeLuca – Western Cutline.
Wild Dog ( 18 x Pack) / Tanda Tula – Tortillas Plains.
Rhino ( Female & Calf)
Leopard ( Umfana Male) / Vielmieter – Entrance Dam.

Afternoon Drive.

( Marka)

Lion ( 3 x Sohobele Males) / Peru - Sohobele Plains.
Buffalo ( Breeding Herd) / Peru - Sohobele Plains.
Elephant ( Kambaku) / Peru - Sohobele Plains.

Daily Synopsis.

Having missed out on the Wild Dog from the day before and pretty much having covered nearly everything with my guests our sole mission for the morning was to look for the Wild Dog. So we headed straight South, we'll nearly, we first took a detour past the airstrip to look for Hyena as they were still on our radar. With them being apparently quite far off on that radar we did not find anything and continued our journey South.

Our intentions were to check the far South and East boundaries as the dogs were left heading to the East the night before, with a bit of luck they would turn North. Herold in turn headed to the West in search of Rhino which up until this point had eluded him.

Reaching the central section I once again detoured to check Java Dam and then Java camp itself, also a good spot for Hyena. Up until this point our morning had consisted of one Dagha Boy, a very nice Kudu Bull and a Giraffe and her calf off in the distance. Reaching the Eastern Boundary we slowly checked the cutline for any sign or track of the dogs presence. While doing this I was contacted on the radio to ask where I would be checking this morning to which I went on to explain my mornings mission. I was pleasantly surprised to be informed that they had in fact found the Wild Dog much further South. Immediately contacting the stations in the South they extended us an invitation to come down and visit. Being South already we slowly made our way through the open plains past Machaton Dam towards the sighting. On arrival we found the dogs resting out on the open plains clearly having fed well this morning. The tell tale rusty necks and distended stomachs giving it away. It was a nice sighting as they were out in the open but not totally asleep as they went about grooming one another and moving about trying to find a comfortable spot to slip into slumberland.

The morning seemed to spring to life with our female Rhino and her calf being found plus Umfana, Ntombi's youngster. Having had a good sighting of what we were after and with both Rhino and Leopard being on our way back North we decide to finish off in style. Our Rhino sighting was not a great opportunity for photography but it was an incredible sighting as the youngster came right up beside the vehicle. Maybe with the shelter of the scrub around gave her that little bit more confidence and she ventured right alongside us. Once again always special. 

Moving on to Umfana he had just finished drinking at Entrance Dam and was now slowly making his way to the East into the Machaton Riverbed. I thought we were once again not going to get a good sighting as he entered the thick riverine foliage but he obliged us by sitting down on an open sand bank. Being true to his nature he did not stay there long and continued his journey along the bank of the river to the North. With our time running out we took this as a good opportunity to head home ourselves and thus draw to an end a magnificent four days for my guests who certainly saw the best that the Timbavati has to offer.

I wont say it's like the good old days, as things have defiantly changed since the floods but for me the change has been for the better and I cant wait to see how things develop further. On that note this will be my last blog entry for the next week or so as I head on leave as of today, yippee! I do however have the great news that Chad will be taking over after returning from his two month sabbatical. He is not returning straight to drive but I'm sure he will keep you posted of the sightings and a recount of the days adventures until he comes onto drive in the next couple of days. I want to thank you for all the support and comments over the past month and we'll catch you soon.

Till then, take care.



  1. Thanks Grant, have a good rest.
    Sue and John

  2. Grant, your reports and pics have been great. Have a great break...
    David & Abi