Wednesday, 18 July 2012

17th July – Umfana Male Sent Running!

Photo of the Day

Umfana male coming down a leadwood tree after being chased up by hyenas

Morning Drive

(Chad, Herold and Marka)

1 x leopard (Umfana male) – Vielmetter, Western Cutline

2 x rhino

1 x breeding herd of elephants – Mbali, Western Cutline

4 x elephant bulls – Peru, Xinzele Rd

2 x elephant bulls – De Luca, Luttig Cutline

Afternoon Drive

(Andrea, Marka and Herold)

9 x Lion  (Mahlatinis) 3 males, 2 females, 4 cubs - Buchner

Daily Synopsis

Waking up and realising that I was losing 5-3 to Johannes in our game of Leopard Football, and the fact that I needed to find lions during my shortened game drive, I was in for a tough drive!

I decided to risk the north-eastern properties to see if our 6 lions had returned, but besides a steenbuck and two elephant bulls, there was nothing at all around.  The east showed signs of rhinos on most roads, and Johannes also checking the east for the Sohebele male lions, managed to find two, but he commented that the number of tracks was unbelievable!

I bumbled through the east, but it didn’t take me long to arrive south, as there was very little stopping us.  I also wanted to get to the hyena den as the coldness eased and before it got too warm.  Approaching the hyena den, there were fresh tracks for a leopard walking in the same direction, and Petros and I commented that whoever it was would get a fright going past the den that is only 10m off the road.  Going into the dip, we could see an animal sitting on the road, and while cautiously thinking it was a hyena (as we were 80m from the den), I think both Petros and I knew that we had pulled “leopard goal” back...and sure enough, as we got closer, we saw we had. 

Umfana male watching some impalas

This time it was Umfana male lying in the road watching a nearby herd of impalas...this was all well and good, except there was a hyena a bit further up the road watching him!  It was no surprise that the presence of the leopard so close to the den caused the hyenas to run in and chase the leopard off – he managed to get up a glorious old leadwood tree on the side of the road, but as we got there, he saw the coast was clear and jumped down and moved off along the drainage line towards Hide Dam. 

Umfana male watching another hyena

We called Marka in and he joined me as the leopard neared the dam, but a hyena coming from the dam to the den caused him to run off and he proceeded south through some more tricky bush before we eventually left him.

We tried the hyena den, but as I expected, the cubs were safely in the holes and only one adult was out; our time was up so we headed back home along Western Cutline, seeing only a large male kudu and impala along the route. 

So while we had brought the score back to 5-4, I had sadly failed to find my guests their lions. 

Marka and Herold also got to see some elephants and rhinos in the morning.

Andrea will be taking over the blog from this afternoon for the next few days, so enjoy her stunning photos, and I will be back on the weekend!


  1. As usual such great pictures Chad, makes us wonder how/whether the next book is coming along?
    Sue and John

  2. That is one beautiful cat! Great pictures thank you so much for sharing.

  3. Stunning, stunning pics, Chad. Thank you.