Tuesday, 21 August 2012

20th August – Two By Two...

Photo of the Day
Nthombi's boy

Morning Drive

(Chad, Marka, Herold and Shadrack)

2 x lions (Ximpoko males) – Peru, Ndlamithi Bamba Rd

2 x leopards (Nthombi and cub with guineafowl kill) – Vielmetter, Steep Sharalumi

2 x rhino (female and female calf)

1 x breeding herd of elephants – Peru, Woza-Woza Cutline

1 x breeding herd of buffalo – Peru, Woza-Woza Cutline

Afternoon Drive

(Chad, Marka, Herold and Shadrack)

2 x cheetahs – Peru, Piva Plains

2 x lions (Ximpoko males) – Peru, Ndlamithi Bamba Rd

1 x breeding herd of buffalo – Peru, Wild West South

1 x breeding herd of buffalo – Argyle, Buffalo Pan

2 x buffalo bulls – Motswari, Trough Rd

1 x buffalo bull – Peru, Woza-Woza Cutline

1 x breeding herd of elephants – Peru, Woza-Woza Cutline
Daily Synopsis

Im told today was the start of a new week, but when days don’t actually mean a thing in the bush, such days are often lost on me!

For a Monday, the animals were thus very obliging today and we once more ticked off some lovely sightings of the Big 5, with most of them being found in pairs...wonder if they preparing for the next Noah’s Ark?  Well, with temperatures reaching a warm 36 degrees Celsius today, I think they may have to wait a bit longer for the rains!

The day started off quietly as I checked the northern boundary of the lodge, but it was a lovely morning to just enjoy being in the bush.  Herold had tracks for the cheetah in the north, and I moved into the area to help him, but the tracks disappeared, so I enjoyed a herd of giraffes instead.

Giraffe herd

My main mission was to try track down the rhino and calf from last night and see if the Mafikizolo Pride had made good with a buffalo kill during the night; the rhinos made it easy for us and we soon found them resting near the road, so enjoyed our time with them.

Rhino and calf

The buffalo herd was located, and other trackers had found the Ximpoko males heading towards them from the south, and Mafikizolo tracks heading in their direction from the north – the male lions had run off when found, but were eventually located not far from the buffalo herd – some of our guides went to see them, but I opted to take the opportunity to move further south.

There were impalas and steenbuck about, but not a great deal as I headed towards a sighting of Nthombi leopardess who had been found earlier, then caught a guineafowl and was walking straight to Steep Sharalumi Crossing with it – the place her 9 month old boy had been left last night.

We arrived just after she had given it to him and was lying resting nearby as her boy played around with the kill, jumping up and down a small wattle bush as mom lay nearby.

Nthombi and her cub with a guineafowl kill

He soon settled down to eat the chick-of-the-bush and we made space for Herold and moved to Elephant Dam for a drink before a slightly quiet trip home.

Nthombi's boy enjoying his guineafowl

The afternoon started off with Shadrack finding tracks for the cheetahs near camp and he and Marka began following up as the tracks headed towards Piva Plains – almost every time we drive past this large open clearing someone will comment about it being cheetah county...but in 5 and a half years I have never seen cheetah there...i was close by, maybe today?

I was enjoying some kudu and waterbuck (plenty of them!) below Argyle Dam when Marka said he had found the cheetahs on Piva Plains...would my dream come true?  Sadly, no.  They were once again very nervous and bolted into the thickets to the north and were lost.


I checked the area, but besides more kudus and some zebras on the clearing, there was no more luck with the cheetahs.

Zebras on Piva Plains

I was then back off to the west to see the buffalo herd that was moving from Lily Pan back west, and enjoyed some waterbuck, impala and warthogs on the way to the area, as well as a short sighting of a herd of elephants – but as the buffalos were approaching the boundary with Klaserie, I opted to leave the elephants and carry on.

Warthog, more waterbuck and elephants

A bit further down the road we had a lone buffalo bull, but did enjoy the sighting of the herd of 200-odd buffalo even more as the late afternoon pushed on.

Buffalo herd

Drinks at Lily Pan ended the daylight hours as we moved towards the two male lions that were still resting in the same place – I was hoping that after dark they would be wide awake, but it turned out to be a bit of a frustrating sighting as they did absolutely nothing all afternoon.

Time was up, so we left them in lala-land and moved back to camp, not seeing much on the way back home...perhaps tomorrow will produce some lions with a bit more life?
Ximpoko male fast asleep

1 comment:

  1. You are so fortunate with all of the big 5, 2nd day in a row, Chad. Keep it coming, please.