Saturday, 5 May 2012

05th May – Chad’s Back, Yet the Animals Stayed!

Photo of the Day
Young Mafikizolo male lion

Morning Drive

(Marka, Herold and Shadrack)

6 x lions (Ross Pride – 2 males and 4 lionesses) – Kings, Shearer Drive

1 x lion (unknown male) – Peru, Wild West North

2 x leopards (Rockfig Jnr and cub on impala kill) –Vielmetter, Elephant Dam Rd

1 x breeding herd buffalo – Kings, Mashangaan Crossing

1 x elephant bull – Kings, Mashangaan Crossing

1 x breeding herd of elephants – Mbali, Mcau Rd

1 x breeding herd of elephants – Mbali, Java-Mbali

Afternoon Drive

(Chad, Marka, Herold and Johannes)

6 x lions (Mafikizolo Pride) – Vielmetter, Elephant Dam

2 x leopards (Rockfig Jnr and cub on impala kill) –Vielmetter, Elephant Dam Rd

2 x rhinos (female and calf)

1 x breeding herd of buffalo – Kings Camp, Mafikizolo Rd

1 x breeding herd of elephants – Mbali, Woza-Woza Cutline

1 x elephant bull – Vielmetter, Vielmetter Access

1 x elephant bull – Peru, Mvubu Crossing

Daily Synopsis

Hello hello hello! Wow, seems like an age since I sat down to do a blog update, and well, I guess it has been!I just want to thank Grant, Andrea and Dave for looking after the blog during my absence; you did a great job!

My two-month sabbatical is done, not as productive as I had hoped, but book is almost ready to go off to the publishers, and my thesis, well, lets rather talk about me being back on drive!There was a great deal of speculation to see just how jinxed I was, and I think most people bet that the animals would disappear as soon as I came back on drive; but either they didn’t all get their emails, or maybe perhaps, I am not such bad luck!

While the other guides did all have more sightings than I did on my first drive back, I was just taking it easy with some photographers and we enjoyed a nice start to the afternoon. A lone buffalo (right at the camp dam during lunch), impalas, warthogs, baboons, hippos, waterbuck and a couple of herds of zebras between camp and Argyle Dam area got us off to a nice start.

Impalas, zebras and waterbuck around Argyle Dam
Wanting to get to Rockfig Jnr and her kill while it was still light, I had to push down south, but sadly she wasn't playing along, and spent much time in a thicket, only emerging later in the afternoon, thus causing a bit of a back-log in the sightings list, and when another vehicle pitched up in the line-up unannounced, I realised I wouldn’t have a chance this evening to view them, so I withdrew myself from the line-up, only to have this same station do the same upon hearing that the Ross Pride had been found further south!

Hornbills and impalas
Fortunately it wasn't all bad, and we got to enjoy a great sundowner before I aimed to bumble about a bit on Vielmetter.Herold then threw a spanner in the works, and after having seen a big herd of buffalo further south this afternoon (Johannes and Marka also went further south and saw some rhinos), he found us some more lions!Not only had the guys seen the Ross Pride with their 2 big male lions this morning, but they also got a lone, young male lion which they thought was from the Mafikizolo Pride...that was until Herold found the Mafikizolo Pride at Elephant Dam – and not just the four youngsters, but also two adult lionesses with them!

Mafikizolo Pride at Elephant Dam under the Supermoon
The adults were a bit nervous, but as it was dark, we had a good sighting of the pride; one of the lionesses was in estrus and the biggest of the young males was following her around like a shadow, clearing looking to mate!

Young male lions

We spent good time with them before making our way back to camp; rather quiet it must be said, but we did enjoy the Supermoon – not only is the moon at its closest part of the orbit around the earth, but being a full moon made it bigger and brighter than normal, clearly illuminating a lone elephant bull as we headed back to camp for a gorgeous dinner.

Let’s just hope I have some better luck with the leopards tomorrow!

1 comment:

  1. Great to have you back Chad. Would love an update on the White lions.Still looking forward to reading the blog every day. Keep up the good work. Thanks to all.
    Jen from Australia.