Wednesday, 8 August 2012

8 August - So, no JHB snow, but cold enough!!!

Photo of the Day
Morning Drive
(Herold, Shadrack, Johannes & Andrea)

Lion (Machaton Pride) / Aryle - Buffalo Pan Access
Elephant (Breeding Herd) / Peru - Long Road Junction Flooded Crossing
Buffalo (Breeding Herd) / Peru - Viool Dam Northern Acces
Buffalo (Breeding Herd) / Karans - Majave Dam

Afternoon Drive
(Herold, Shadrack, Johannes & Andrea)

Lion (Machaton Pride) / Argyle - Great North
Elephant (Breeding herd) / Vielmeter - Elephant Dam
Elephant (Breeding Herd) / Motswari - Wedge River Road (and outside my room!)

With the snow in JHB, the cold seemed to decent on us as well. There is no other way to describe it but FREEZING!!! The temperature was between 5-6 Deg C and with the wind chill factor on the cars, it takes it down to about 3/4 Deg and despite my many layers, the beginning part of drive was very quiet as i could barrel move my jaw! The main plan being to find lion, we all started out with lion tracks in mind. There were surprisingly three different sets of tracks around the reserve, none of which included the two sub-adults from last night. I headed off to help with the one set, bumping into a small herd of elephant on the way. Even the elephant were cold, and they were very stationary and feeding very slowly. We sat with them for quite some time, willing the sun to show her face which it eventually did (but still took the rest of drive to warm us up).

On my way down to the lion tracks in the eastern side of the reserve, some of the Simbavati guys found the Machaton pride in the west. Doing a bit of a U-turn, we headed slowly to that side finding giraffe, zebra and waterbuck on the way. The lions had a warthog kill, hardly enough to feed a whole pride, especially ones with young males (we all know how teenage boys can eat!). Despite this, a small hyaena clan sat eagerly nearby hoping for any left over scraps.

It was actually a lovely sighting watching them finish off the warthog, while others lay nearby. With some of my guests only staying for one night, I was quite relieved that we had seen lion. Herold then called in to say he had a buffalo herd nearby which was very convenient. So after a brief stop over without buffalo and a quick drinks break, we headed back to camp making it to breakfast just in time.

The afternoon turned out incredibly quiet. I headed down to the hyaena den and sat for quite some time with the youngsters out and about. Herold went back to the lions again, who have unfortunately crossed back over into Klaserie - we really were hoping they would stick around.  Shadrack had a breeding herd of elephant down on Vielmeter.

The irony of the afternoon was that while we all drove away from camp, a breeding herd of elephant was right on our doorsteps…literally. By the time we got back to camp and I walked to my room, I had to weave and dodge as to not bump into the ellies relaxing in the staff area. I had a mother and baby right outside my window who moved off very quickly when the hairdryer went on (note to remember - elephants don't like hairdryers!) Despite the quiet afternoon, we did have a lovely sun set and there is always tomorrow!


  1. I am seeing a "half ring shaped" light on some of the photo's is this from the cameraman's lens or part of the post editing effects?

  2. Hi, as I mentioned in the blog, the camera I am using at the moment is slightly broken and has a light leak regardless of the lens I use. Please bear with me until Chad gets back!

  3. Excellent, despite the cold and and a faulty camera. Thanks Andrea.

  4. what a lovely hyenas and hippos pictures!! Congrats!
    Lions are may fav, thanks!!!
    Maia Afrika