Sunday, 5 August 2012

04th August – Going Quite a Few Extra Miles!!!

Photo of the Day

Cudly hyena cub!

Morning Drive

(Chad, Grant, Giyani and Shadrack)

1 x rhino (relaxed bull)

2 x rhino (female and female calf)

2 x buffalo bulls – Motswari, Wedge River Rd

6 x buffalo bulls – Argyle, Argyle Rd

2 x buffalo bulls – Argyle, Klipdrift Crossing

Afternoon Drive

(Chad, Grant, Herold and Shadrack)

2 x lions (Ximpoko males) – Tanda Tula, Tortillis Plains

2 x rhinos (2 males)

2 x rhinos (female and female calf)

1 x rhino (relaxed bull)

1 x rhino (relaxed bull)

6 x buffalo bulls – Peru, Lily Pan Rd

1 x breeding herd of elephants – Java, Peter Pan Access

1 x breeding herd of elephants – Tanda Tula, Tortillis Plains

1 x breeding herd of elephants – Kings, Ridge Rd

9 x elephant bulls – Scholtz, Kudu Pan

1 x elephant bull – Vielmetter, Elephant Dam Rd

Daily Synopsis

Following Grant and Herold’s amazing days the last two, I was half expecting it to be my day to find all the animals...well, I have been known to be wrong once or twice before!

The morning was a quiet one, and I tried checking the northern areas of Motswari – my objective was to find some buffalo bulls, and sure enough, they were the first animals we came across along the riverbed.

Buffalo bulls

Proceeding along the northern boundary we ticked off a lovely journey of giraffes that all gathered to eat on a scented thorn, before continuing towards Argyle Dam, where we saw some warthogs, steenbuck, duiker and impala en route.

Tower of giraffes and a warthog

There was little happening at the dam besides the resident hippos and crocodiles resting in the water, and the noisy Egyptian geese, well, making a noise.

A rhino had been found on our western boundary, and as it was a lot more than had been found elsewhere (besides tracks for a lone lioness for the third day in a row without seeing this lion – clearly related to the Ximpoko (ghost) males!), I headed in that direction.  We found another two buffalo at Klipdrift Crossing, but they ran off chasing each other, so we moved on to enjoy some impalas and waterbuck, as well as some lovely birds and a whole bunch of mopane trees!  The rhino that had been found was nowhere to be seen (at least not by us), although we did find some of his close relatives, the zebra!

Egyptian goose, impala, waterhbuck and lilac breasted roller

Homeward bound, we saw plenty of impalas, waterbuck, kudus and steenbuck, but overall, it was a quiet morning for all of us.

Zebra, steenbuck and kudu

The afternoon was one that needed some lions – as the southern stations had at last managed to track down the Ximpoko males, we awaited an invitation to see them, but prior to that we all set out on our own missions, and everyone found their own rhinos...except for me!  Giyani had a relaxed bull in the east, following a great sighting of nine large elephant bulls; Shaddy found a relaxed male in the west as well as some buffalo bulls; Grant bumped into a rhino and calf on his way south late in the evening; and I also got to see two other rhinos briefly in the south, although it was also after dark and I had been told that they were on the road I was travelling on, so technically, I didn’t find them!

But that is getting ahead of myself; starting out at Argyle Dam, we saw a large herd of waterbuck and hour hippos and crocodile out the water.  Impala and steenbuck popped up sporadically, and we got to see a lone female giraffe as we drove along the Nhlaralumi Riverbed, but it was dead quiet along its course.

Waterbuck and giraffe

Luckily some elephants had been found on Java, so Grant and I popped in to see them.

Breeding herd of elephants

While watching them, a hyena appeared on the scene and the whole herd decided that it would be a great idea to go chasing off after the hyena!!!  They did this twice before the message got home and the hyena moved off.

Hyena snooping around the elephant herd before being comprehensively chased off!

The elephants then went back to feeding, but in an almighty guarri thicket, so we left them to enjoy their time on their own.

Back to feeding

Passing the hyena den, we found one adult and the three older cubs out and playful for a change, and enjoyed some time with them – the larger ones once again came and nibbled on my tyres, with the black one being a bit too nervous to venture all that far from the hole.

Hyena den

After a drink at Hide Dam, we had received an invite to head south to see the lions – it was a long journey south, but one we were prepared to make to see an animal that has become far too scarce of late!  The trip south was quiet until we hit Tortillis Plains; there we passed another herd of elephants, two rhinos and then the male lions within a kilometre of one another!

Sadly, the lions were in no mood to do anything, and barely opened their eyes as they lay, there was no magic wind that blew in to rouse them, so we had to leave the two males still resting peacefully and make the long journey home; which itself was quiet and we saw only a genet as we arrived back at camp a tad was however worth it!  Sadly, my timing was two minutes off, as Andrew, the night watch, told me that a leopard had walked past reception minutes before I pulled in!  Petros even got to see her at Marula Pan as he drove back to the staff village! 
My hope for the day is not onlythat we can find her or another leopard in the morning, but more importantly, that our lodge manager, Mr David T. King and his lovely wife, Mrs Thea Wieser, have the most amazing wedding today, and get to enjoy and cherish the rest of your long and healthy lives in each other's company; all the best guys!

Ximpoko male lions resting far too well!


  1. Photo of the day: That cub must have practiced posing for you. Chad. Stunning pic!

  2. Absolutelly beautiful pictures ....Stunning ....You are the best ..forget the rest .. somebody once told me ..

  3. stunning, amazing, almost makes me think there can't really be a place on earth that sustains all these incredible species , Wow!