Photo of the Day
|Mafikizolo male licking his lips after eating Nthombi leopardess's kill|
(Chad, Shadrack and Herold)
2 x lions (Mafikizolo male and female with Nthombi’s kill) –Kings, Tamboti Drive
2 x lions (Jacaranda young lionesses) – Peru, Old Gate
2 x leopards (Nthombi and Cub) – Kings, Tamboti Drive
1 x rhino (relaxed male)
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Vielmetter, Double Highway
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Vielmetter, Entrance Dam
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Argyle, Gina’s Rd
2 x buffalo bulls – Argyle, Leadwood Access
Afternoon Drive(Herold, Johannes, Shadrack and Andrea)
Rhino (x 1 male)
Lion (x 2 Jacaranda females) / Peru - Mbali Riv er Road
Leopard (x 1 male) / Peru - Xinkovanini Road North
Elephant (Breeding Herd) / Peru - Giraffe Kill
So, this is my last blog post for a while, and I will be leaving you in the capable hands of Ms Andrea Campbell who will take over from this afternoon’s drive...I just hope that she had half as good a drive as I had this morning!
I had some guests that were just with me for one drive, and they asked to see giraffe and rhino, while my other guests wished for more leopards. Easy.
I headed out towards Vyeboom Dam, and after steenbuck, bushbuck and impalas, we got our first animal on the list –a small herd of giraffes that we spent some time watching.
|Giraffe and impalas|
While with them, I was informed of a rhino not all that far from us, so we bumbled in that direction, enjoying more impalas and baboons as we went.
|Baboons warming up in the morning on Vyeboom Dam wall|
We arrived to the sighting of our new northern male rhino – he was quite static, but very alert as he stood in a small mopane thicket. He soon decided that this was a good place to rest and went to sleep.
So two down, and when Nthombi and her cub were located in the south at Elephant Dam, my guests asked to go see them, so off I went. I didn’t get very far, as Herold had miraculously bumped into some surprise visitors in the north....lions! I honestly thought he was joking when he said I must drive a couple hundred metres forward to join him...i didn’t believe him until I saw the two tawny cats walking across a small clearing! It was the two Jacaranda lionesses that have been absent for some time, but were looking in very good shape! We watched them until they settled and then continued south.
|Two young Jacaranda lionesses make a welcomed return to the north|
Things were getting interesting there, and Nthombi was taking her cub to a kill...however, the southern stations had been following a male and female lion that arrived at Nthombi’s kill, climbed the tree and pulled it out and began feeding on it!
The two leopards were making their way there, and I drove some distance down to see them now, but was hoping it would be worth it – I arrived just after Nthombi had spotted the lions and the cub had run up the safety of a tree! Fortunately, the lions didn’t see the leopards, and Nthombi coaxed her son out of the tree, and he came running to join mom before both went trotting off back from where they came! We had a short but nice sighting of them before they moved down into the Nhlaralumi!
|Nthombi and her cub retreating from their stolen kill|
I then went to see the lions (sadly I had missed the big male lion climbing the tree again as I was with the leopards), and immediately saw that it wasn't the Ximpoko male as had been suggested, but rather the gorgeous young Mafikizolo male and one of the young females from the pride. He lay grooming himself, but as it was once again already quite late in the morning and I found myself many miles from camp, I had to make way and with a big dash of speed head campward.
|Mafikizolo male after eating Nthombi's kill - he had to climb a tree to get it!|
In typical fashion, the animals then all came out – a couple of herds of elephants spread out over the southern portions of Vielmetter interspersed with a large journey of giraffes and more elephants drinking at Entrance Dam.
Impalas and another couple of giraffe were ticked off along the road home, but we didn’t mind not stopping for them as we had seen so much this morning, hopefully making for one memorable drive for my guests.