Wednesday, 26 September 2012

25th September – Sizzling South

Photo of the Day
Elephant herd in the greenery of the south

Morning Drive

(Chad, Giyani, Herold, Peter and Marka)

2 x leopards (Nthombi and cub) – Vielmetter, Elephant Dam

3 x rhinos (male, female and calf)

1 x breeding herd of buffalo – Vielmetter, Sweetwater Pan

10 x buffalo bulls – Vielmetter, Western Sharalumi

10 x buffalo bulls – Motswari, Wisani Trough

1 x breeding herd of elephants – Vielmetter, Dizzy Drive

1 x breeding herd of elephants – Vielmetter, Back Nines West


Afternoon Drive

(Chad, Grant, Herold and Peter)

1 x leopard (Nthombi’s cub) – Vielmetter, Nkhoro Rd

1 x leopard (Argyle Jnr female with impala kill) – Argyle, Lomphana Rd

3 x rhinos (male, female and calf)

1 x breeding herd of buffalo – Vielmetter, Martin’s Rd

2 x buffalo bulls – Motswari, Northern Access

1 x buffalo bull – Karan’s Western Cutline

1 x breeding herd of elephants – Vielmetter, Nkhoro Rd

1 x elephant bull – Vielmetter, Elephant Dam

1 x elephant cow – Vielmetter, Steep Sharalumi

1 x elephant bull – Mbali, Java Dam Rd


Daily Synopsis

Today was another slightly warm day, but not quite as hot as the game viewing in the south; so it was quite a pity that I had decided to spend the morning in the north! 
Morning started off hearing that a young male leopard had walked through camp just before the guests woke up, and a couple of buffalos too, so I headed to the north of camp and managed to find the 10 buffalo bulls resting nearby to the lodge; the leopard however avoided us!

Buffalo bulls near camp
I then checked Argyle and didn’t have a great deal of luck, but saw impalas, steenbuck, waterbuck, a nice herd of giraffes and a relaxed herd of kudus feeding on the side of the road.

Kudus and giraffes
Pete had tracks for a large crash of rhinos but tracked them off the property before going south upon hearing that some rhinos had been found there; then Giyani found Nthombi and cub at Elephant Dam, Marka found a herd of buffalo at Sweetwater pan, and there were elephants aplenty there!
I stuck in the north still, hoping that my patience would pay off, but it didn’t result in more than a few more antelopes and a pod of hippos before we closed down for breakfast.
This made my afternoon plan easy: head south!  Luckily, it all worked out!
Heading straight south, I took a chance on the hyena den despite it still being very warm, and amazingly found all five cubs out and about – after time with them they made their way back into the den and we carried on.

ACTIVE hyena den - first time in days they have all been out!
The pattern of the morning repeated, and four of the Big 5 were found within a couple of kilometres; only the lions were missing!
We stopped to enjoy a couple of giraffe sightings before finding a giraffe and a herd of zebras at Entrance Dam.

Giraffes and zebras at Entrance Dam
Next stop of Nthombi’s boy, but he wasn't playing along and while we got to see him, he eventually went to sleep in a thicket of grass and the visual deteriorated and remained unchanged for the rest of the afternoon. 

Nthombi's boy - not so cooperative today
A herd of elephants were about 100m away, so on leaving the leopard we bumped into them, and as they were going down to the river to drink, we jumped ahead and waited for them.

Elephant herd in the late afternoon
The best part was that the area they were heading to also had three rhinos, so as the elephants came down to drink, the rhinos got a bit of fright before settling to feed again – so two of the worlds largest land mammals were together in one scene.


Crash of rhinos and a herd of elephants
Moving on, we then relocated on a breeding herd of about a hundred buffalo as they fed to the west before parting company and going for a sundowner.

Buffalo herd after sunset
The drive home was again not all that productive, but we did have a good sighting of a small-spotted genet up a tree.  Herold had enjoyed the south in the morning and stuck to the north, but where we failed, he succeeded and found Argyle Jnr leopardess with a very fresh impala kill west of Argyle Dam, so again, something to look forward to tomorrow!


  1. Amazing afternoon drive Chad... Looking forward to Argyle Jnr tomorrow :-) I hope she plays along!