Thursday, 12 July 2012

July 11 - What's for dinner?

Photo of the day
Morning Drive
(Shadrack, Peter, Grant & Andrea)

Elephant (Breeding Herd) / Peru - Francolin Pan
Elephant (Breeding Herd) / Java - Back of Java
Elephant (Breeding Herd) / Vielmeter - Hide Dam
Leopard (Makepisi) / Mbali - Buffalo Kill

Afternoon Drive
(Peter & Andrea)

Elephant (breeding herd) / Mbali - Buffalo Kill
Elephant (breeding herd) / Peru - Buffalo Pan Access
Leopard (Makepisi) / Mbali - Buffalo Kill

Hi everyone, so you have to bear with me a little while longer before Chad comes back on drive and blogging duty but for now, seeing as though most of the rangers are spending the next few days doing their ARH (Advanced Rifle Handling) exams, myself and Peter are on drive and I have taken over blog duty again. I have done my ARH recently, I am quite relieved to be on drive rather than having my shoulder pounded by rifle recoils for 2 days. The morning started with fresh lion tracks on the wedge. However, the lion had been chasing zebra and a lone giraffe and the tracks led in all directions, and we eventually lost them to Ingwelala.

We then spent some time at Argyle Dam watching a troop of baboons resting up in the sun, as well as the usual hippo pod, African Jacanas and plovers. Marka was doing a link up for one of his guests who had joined my drive just for the morning, which meant I did not want to travel too far from camp. We followed up on a breeding herd of elephant which we managed to catch the tail end of and sat for some time with a female and her youngster while they enjoyed a dust bath and some good old classic elephant tree uprooting. Peter checked up on Makepisi with the kill he had been found with the night before.

The afternoon began with a visit to Shlaralumi camp where I sat waiting while Crested Francolins and Tree Squirrels scurried around. The Impala Lilies are also in bloom which gives the bush an occasional burst of colorful pink which contrasts so beautifully with the dryness of the winter bush.

Heading down towards Mbali to check up for Makepisi we came across a Swainson Spurfowl who had found the ideal dinner spot: instead of a chocolate fountain, he had an ant fountain. This ground-dwelling bird had scratched open an ants nest and was tucking in to his hearts delight, completely unphased that we were watching his dinner. 

Carrying on towards Buffalo Kill, an elephant herd silhouetted against the red sunset. Slowly feeding as elephants do, we watched briefly as they moved across the road. By this point the sun had set, and we found Makepisi still feeding up in the Weeping Boer Bean tree. He was digging into a Steenbuck, crunching through the buck's little bones as if they were toothpicks! It was an incredibly sensory sighting. Being the last vehicle to respond, we were able to sit and watch him for ages. It was fascinating watching him pull out tufts of fur and feed on the meat underneath. Every now and then, he dropped a bone which I have no doubt attracted some hyenas later in the evening. Having watched this leopard now for the last 7 months, I felt rather proud (ridiculous I know) that Makepisi had managed to catch this Steenbuck when in the past he was only managing tortoises. We traded a drinks top to sit while he finished his dinner and when drive time had almost come to an end, we headed back to camp.

I also wanted to share a few images from yesterdays sighting, as I may have decided on my new favorite leopard!

See you guys again tomorrow,


  1. Stunning pics. Well done.

  2. Great pics.

    Thanks for sharing them with us Andrea.