Thursday, 10 May 2012

09th May – Kuhanya Returns!

Photo of the Day
Spectacular scenes over Argyle Dam this morning
Morning Drive

(Chad and Herold)

1 x breeding herd of elephants – Motswari, Xinatsi Dam Rd North

1 x elephant bull – Karans, Northern Access

Afternoon Drive


1 x leopard (Kuhanya female) – Motswari, Airstrip Rd

1 x breeding herd of elephants – Motswari, Airstrip

1 x buffalo bull – Motswari, Xinatsi Dam
Daily Synopsis

If my jinx’s was tempting fate last night, then it struck me good and proper today!  The morning began with the intention of going south to follow up on the Mafikizolo Pride that were heading towards Vielmetter when I left them last night, but as the clear, chilly morning meant that there was going to be some mist about, I headed via Argyle Dam to enjoy the mist rising over the dam as the hippos, birds and baboons relished the warmth of the sun arriving.

Sunrise over Argyle Dam with hippos and a blacksmith lapwing
Piva Plains was surprisingly quiet, with only the impalas and lone wildebeest to be seen, meaning that the other wildebeest on our airstrip was a new arrival!

A quieter than normal, but rather beautiful Piva Plains early this morning with impala and a wildbeest
The Mafikizolo Pride had been found on Eagle Owl Plains again, but as I had no sooner decided to make my way there, they disappeared, and sadly could not be relocated the rest of the morning.  While I hadn’t responded to Herold’s elephant herd 200m from camp in the morning, I did find a massive old elephant bull and spent time with him before checking out east...which seemed to sense me coming and hid all animals bar one steenbuck than simply ran off!

Old elephant bull
After coffee, I headed back west, and hoped to go photograph Umfana male in the sunlight, but as I was heading in his direction, he walked into a large bush and fell asleep, leaving a 0 out of 5 sighting that wasn't going to help me much, so now I had to dejectedly make the long trip back north.  It was even longer considering that we saw nothing bar one lone zebra and a few impalas.
Yellow-billed hornbill
Not exactly how I wanted to end my drives with my guests off, but we had enjoyed a wonderful 4 days together, so it wasn't the end of the world!

Afternoon drive had no sooner started when the radio in my room crackled with Herold’s voice announcing that he had found Kuhanya female leopard up a marula tree near the airstrip; why could she not have done that one drive earlier!!!  I popped out to see her, but literally only watched her for a minute before a game drive vehicle arrived and I made space for them; we also saw a big herd of elephants on our airstrip going there, and a wildebeest, so for a 10 minute drive, it wasn't half bad! Besides this, Herold also saw a lone buffalo at Xinatsi Dam before heading south to see if he could get lucky with the Mafikizolo Pride on Vielmetter/Kings, but he had no luck.

Guess tomorrow is another day...although unluckily for Herold, I am back on drive!

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