Sunday, 15 July 2012

13th July – Unlucky For Some...

Photo of the Day

Rhino calf

Morning Drive

(Chad, Peter and Andrea)

6 x lions (3 x males, 3 x females) – Argyle, Long Rd

2 x rhinos (female and female calf)

1 x breeding herd of elephants –Motswari, Airstrip


Afternoon Drive

(Chad, Grant, Herold and Andrea)

6 x lions (3 x males, 3 x females) – Argyle, Long Rd

1 x leopard (unknown skittish young male) – Motswari, Southern Access

1 x breeding herd of elephants – Argyle, Oppikoppie Rd

1 x breeding herd of elephants – Argyle, Mpisi Khaya Rd

1 x elephant bull – Argyle, Mpisi Khaya Rd

2 x elephant bulls – Motswari Hanger Rd

Daily Synopsis

Greetings again, and well, unlike me to start off with an apology for being slow to upload a blog post!!!  Hahaha! 

Anyways, I am back on the blog for a while; guess my thesis will have to wait!  Fortunately the bush was “kind” to me and didn’t provide much to write about this morning!  I went out east looking for the rhino and her calf, but sadly we didn’t find anything besides tracks for a male rhino, but didn’t pursue that as the other mother and calf had been seen yesterday in the south, and they would be a better bet to track down.  Heading towards the hyena den, we had a very quiet one, with only a few nervous zebras and some impalas to speak of.

Arriving at the hyena den, we saw one adult disappear to the bush, and found an empty den – we waited a while chatting about hyenas until eventually one adult pitched up; thinking the cubs might come out, we waited, but only another mother arrived – luckily it was the mother of the two newest babies and after checking the entrances, she settled down in one of them, and soon enough, out popped the two tiniest hyena babies!  We only got to see their heads popping out briefly, but it was still a treat none-the-less.

New hyena cubs at the den

A third adult arrived and seemed very curious about the cubs and engaged in some interesting interactions with the mother.

We then left them to go follow up on the rhinos, and a minute or two before arriving another vehicle found them, so we went to join the sighting; I haven’t seen the little one for a couple of months and amazed at how big she had grown!

Rhino and calf
We had a lovely sighting as the two of them fed around the area, quite chilled in our presence before departing for a cup of coffee – seeing a nice family of warthogs feeding in the open.

Kudu and warthogs
Making our way home was very quiet, although we did see fresh leopard tracks, we didn’t have time to follow up.  Andrea and Peter were saved at the last minute when the six lions finished their buffalo kill and wandered some distance before returning to our property and they were located resting quite close to our airstrip; so at least their guests got to see some lions.

The camp busied up tremendously in the afternoon with the WildCon guys bringing in another group to assist with rhino micro-chipping tomorrow.  It was actually a nice afternoon, and I think I only drove about 12km, of which a couple of those were just to kill time.

I wanted to follow up on some elephants that had been seen earlier, so headed to Argyle Dam and enjoyed some unusually active hippos and birds before moving towards the elephant herd.

Hippos, kudu bulls, fish eagle and waterbuck near and around Argyle Dam
A lone bull drew our attention as a francolin got nailed by a little banded goshawk, the screams of which made me think that something larger had actually been taken by a leopard, but it was not to be!

Lone elephant bull dust bathing
The breeding herd of elephants fed nearby, and we spent some nice time with them before moving on to the nearby lions; with fat bellies, I wasn't expecting much, but they yawned and stretched, and I thought we had timed it right, but sadly after that, they all rolled over and went back to sleep.

Elephant herd and the a pride of lions
Drinks on the airstrip finished with news that a young male leopard had been found near camp, but he was not cooperating and was soon lost just as I was I was to find out, this was the start of some seriously bad leopard luck for me over the days to follow!!! Still, I thought I would give it a go once all the vehicles had moved off and soon found him walking down the road, but he was a bit nervous so we kept a big distance before he ambled into the bushes, and we left him to do his own thing.

Some starry, starry nights over Motswari the last week - click the last image for a bigger version

That night was occupied with roaring lions and leopards in camp, and that always gets us excited for the next day!


  1. Gorgeous shots, Chad. The night scenery magnificent.

  2. i say that in my language" que buenas fotos!!!"
    Maia Afrika

  3. Such beautiful shots Chad. I love the third pic of the hippos. The one in the center is smiling at you and you can almost expect a wink from him. Nice job and welcome back!

  4. absolutely beautiful night shots Chad!

  5. Rob Fleming flamingopro16 July 2012 at 06:31

    Fantastic shots Chad, makes me long to visit the bush again.......true freedom!

  6. Lovely, lovely photos of the night sky. Just brilliant!