Monday, 13 August 2012

12th August: Motswari Pride Returns.

Pic Of The Day.
Morning Drive.

( Grant, Herold, Shadrack & Andrea.)

Lion (
Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Argyle – Mfene Crossing.
Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Vielmieter – Back Nines.
Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Vielmieter - Lucky's Rd.
Elephant ( Kambaku) / Borneo – Borneo Trough.
Buffalo ( Dagha Boys) / Argyle – Timbavati/ Umbabat Cutline.
Rhino ( Male)

Afternoon Drive.

( Grant, Herold, Shadrack, Andrea, Marka & Johannes.)

Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Argyle – Long Rd.
Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Argyle – Western Sohobele.
Elephant ( Kambaku) / Peru – Long Rd.
Leopard ( Male) / Peru – Flooded Crossing.
Buffalo ( Dagha Boy) / Motswari – Marula Pan.

Daily Synopsis.

Being the last drive of our group and having seen a fair amount we all set off on our own missions for the morning. Patrick and I wanted to head South and follow up on the Rhino and Calf and if time allowed visit the Hyena Den. Shadrack and Andrea chose to head to the East and see if they could have better luck than ourselves while Herold headed West. It was not long before Shadrack called in tracks for about six Lions on the Eastern side heading South. Andrea joined him in the search while Herold now also made his way to the area to give a hand. With all the gang committing to the search we were torn on what to do but figuring they had it all under control we chose to stick to our original plan. The drive South was uneventful and apart from a number of Kudu herds we did not see much. Once in the South though things came alive, this would be typical as the guys also then located on the Lions and they were moving towards the boundary with Kruger, just our luck. Having seen good Lion over the past three days we stuck to the plan and zig-zagged our way around.

Our first stop was the Hyena Den where we found the adult female of the two very young cubs. She was sat at the entrance of the den where her two pups could nurse in safety, so it did not offer up the best sighting but still nice to see.  

We then moved onto Hide dam where a herd of Elephant had been sighted less than thirty minutes earlier. We found their tracks and on top of this we found fresh tracks for a female Leopard after ignoring the male tracks we had a little earlier we chose to check around a little but on rounding the dam we ran into the herd of Elephant. We spent a little time with them but did cut our visit short still wanting to now follow up on the Leopard and Rhino tracks. Checking roads to the South in the direction she was heading we ran into another herd of Elephant, this one being far bigger with lots of youngsters. Being out in the open and with them paying very little to no attention to us we became transfixed and the thought of anything else melted away. We eventually, after about forty five minutes, continued on our way not by choice but by the fact that the entire herd suddenly upped and hot footed it to the West. Watching as these great giants came crashing through the bush was quite the site and we soon discovered the reason for their sudden departure as behind them came a group of bulls in hot pursuit. 

Having run out of time to follow up on both Leopard and Rhino we decided to stick to the original plan as we had all morning and headed off to the area where the Rhino and her calf had been the previous evening. It was not long before we picked up on their tracks but unfortunately they were heading South and across our Southern traversing boundary. Well that made things easy. With a long way back we turned to the North and found compensation in a large herd of Giraffe drinking from Entrance Dam. 

The guys in the North finally located on the Lions and established a sighting as they constantly moved back and forth from our boundary with Kruger. When they were initially seen there were six of them but then a large male appeared that seemed to be following them. This had them unnerved and they kept moving off on his approach but from accounts it appeared he meant them no harm. They eventually split with three of them retuning to Majavi Dam while no one knows what happened to the rest but the remaining three continually called out for their siblings. It was thought that they and the large male Lion were a little further to the South East, all together. With the sighting sounding fairly stable we chose to try our luck and head in their direction. On this occasion luck was on our side and as we arrived in the area, two of them moved onto the dam wall while the other lay in the shade just North of the dam. It was nice to see them again and lets hope they stick around, it would appear we have a good chance of this as there have been reports of them from our Northern neighbours. 

With time having run out we made our way back to camp but on approaching a wide open grassed clearing we found ourselves a bonus in the form of a large male Rhino. He was a little weary of us so we kept our distance and as soon as he started to head towards the nearby pan we left him in peace to enjoy his drink.

With all of us receiving new guests this afternoon and there being six vehicles out from Motswari itself we can only hope that all the animals once again show themselves as they had done this morning.

Our afternoon got off to a cracker of a start with at least seventy five plus Elephant of all shapes, gender and size very nearby the lodge. Heading directly in their direction we spent the better part of forty minutes with them as they encircled us while they went about their feeding.

Knowing that there was still a fair amount to follow up from the morning and my guests specific request for Leopard and Lion we eventually took our leave of these magnificent giants and made our way to Argyle Dam were we found another of their requests, Crocodile.

At this point everything seemed to be playing along nicely and while we sat at the dam discussing Hippo's and Crocodiles, Shadrack called in a male Leopard not far away. Being in the immediate area we were able to get into the line up quickly but unfortunately it was a shy male and he kept moving up and down the thick vegetation of the Sohobele River so the sighting was constantly on and off. None the less we continued with our approach and as fate would have it we got a relatively good sighting after he crossed the river to the opposite bank where he felt more comfortable and we followed him at a distance as he travelled South. Not our best sighting ever but our guests loved it and could not believe their wish had come true so quickly.

While we were busy around Argyle Dam some of the guys went to follow up on the Lions from the morning but where we had been lucky earlier we now found that they had crossed into Kruger with the large males tracks following behind. Convinced they were not far a couple of the guys took their sundowners in the area hoping to get audio or bump them after dark. I even tempted fate and headed in the opposite direction to our Western boundary trying to lure them out but it all was to no avail.

After sundowners we had a relatively successful night session with us first finding a Bush-baby that actually did not jump away on being found and then an African Wildcat, it however was a little shyer and on being discovered moved off rather rapidly. Our night came to an end with us finding a White-faced Scops Owl very close to camp.

Lets hope our cats return tomorrow.


  1. Lion and leopard on the same day! Well done, Grant. The elephant babies' faces tell the story - I read it!

  2. Amazing!!!!! i wish to be there....
    maia afrika