Saturday, 4 August 2012

03rd August – Grant Houdini!!!

Photo of the Day

Umfana male leoaprd watching a nearby rhino and calf

Morning Drive

(Chad, Grant, Herold and Shadrack)

1 x leopard (Umfana male) – Vielmetter, Dizzy Drive

2 x rhino (female and female calf)

1 x breeding herd of elephants – Argyle, Rudi’s Rd

2 x buffalo bulls – Motswari, Wedge River Rd

Afternoon Drive

(Chad, Grant, Giyani, Herold and Shadrack)

1 x leopard (Nthombi’s cub) – Vielmetter, Lower River Rd

1 x leopard (Umfana male) – Vielmetter, Crossing Below Entrance Dam

2 x rhino (female and female calf)

2 x rhino (male and female)

7 x buffalo bulls – Peru, Lily Pan Rd

1 x breeding herd of elephants – Argyle, Argyle Dam

Daily Synopsis

There is something in the water, clearly!  It is the only way to explain why both Herold and Grant seem to have found the magic touch!  This morning, Grant carried on right where Herold left off yesterday and found the first breeding herd of elephants in a few days, and then followed it up with a rhino and calf, as well as Umfana male leopard stalking the same wildebeest and impalas from last night, thus rounding off a great drive for him!  In fact, the whole of the Vielmetter property was pumping in the morning with three different rhino sightings, two leopard sightings and elephants...definitely made me wish I had gone south!

Instead though, I went east...oops!  It was rather quiet on a rather chilly morning, but we ticked off some kudus and steenbuck, but not even an impala!  Grant had found the elephants in the north, so I angled in his direction and carried on; we did find some nice tawny eagles, impalas and a nice male giraffe.

Impala lily, kudu cow and male giraffe
Following the 140-plus elephant sightings last month, it seems amazing that we have struggled to find these grey giants the last few days!  But arriving to join Shaddy with Grant’s herd, we got to appreciate why we miss them so much, as elephants are always wonderful to view!  The herd was small, but had a good number of babies and provided for an enjoyable sighting while some of the guides tried tracking down Argyle Jnr leopardess and her cubs in the area.  They did find them on foot, but sadly the sight of the trackers sent them running and when they were relocated late in the morning, it was in an inaccessible thicket, so we had to pass.

Breeding herd of elephant
We did finish off the morning with two nice herds of giraffe, some waterbuck, hippos and the large crocodile at Argyle Dam.

Giraffe and waterbucks on the way back to camp
The afternoon saw me wisely moving towards Vielmetter – surely at least some of the animals would show up again; and indeed they did.  Heading south was very quiet expect for a few impalas and steenbuck, but arriving on Java we ticked off warthogs and dwarf mongooses, and a little further south added baboons, monkeys and banded mongooses to the list.

The rhino and her calf were in the same area and we managed to view them in the late afternoon light as they fed about in a nice open area.

Rhino and calf
As I had predicted in the morning, Umfana male leopard ended up at Entrance Dam, and we got to watch as he climbed his favourite tree in the Machaton River just below the dam!

While watching him, the rhino and her calf arrived at the dam to drink, and you could see the leopard spying on them from his elevated position.  He was however quite sleepy, so we left him to it and went for a sundowner.

Umfana male resting up his favourite tree whilse keeping a lookout
The Ximpoko male lions had once more lived up to their name and their tracks had criss-crossed the area in the morning, and no one was able to find anything more than a track for the umpteenth time the last few weeks!

Grant got to see Nthombi’s boy, and while having drinks, he was also joined by two rhinos that also popped in for a drink, once more proving that he did have the magic today!  I wonder whose turn it will be tomorrow???

Moon rise

1 comment:

  1. Will keep a keen eye out for the next Houdini. Thanks for the drive, Chad.