Monday, 10 September 2012

8th September – Full Dam

Photo of the Day

Nthombi and her boy in a playful mood

Morning Drive

(Herold, Chad, Grant and Shadrack)

2 x leopards (Nthombi and cub) – Sweetwater Northern Access

1 x breeding herd of buffalo – Jaydee, Tamboti Pan

1 x breeding herd of elephants – Jaydee, Makulu Dam

1 x breeding herd of elephants – Jaydee, Tchwala Rd

2 x elephant bulls – Peru, Giraffe Kill Rd

4 x buffalo bulls – Motswari, Airstrip Rd


Afternoon Drive

(Chad and Grant)

2 x lions (Sohebele males) – Peru, Voel Dam

1 x rhino (relaxed male)

5 x elephant bulls – Peru, Voel Dam

4 x elephant bulls – Peru, Lily Pan Rd

1 x breeding herd of elephants – Mbali, Mvubu Crossing

1 x breeding herd of elephants – Peru, Lily Pan Rd

1 x breeding herd of elephants – Vielmetter, Blue Waxbill Rd

1 x breeding herd of buffalo – Voel Dam Northern Access

4 x buffalo bulls – Argyle, Umbabat Cutline


Daily Synopsis

Waking up to the pitter-patter of rain outside, I half expected to be getting an extra lie-in this morning, but as the hour of 5am approached, the rain slowed down, and by the time we went out at 6am, it looked like the rain had come to an end – although, despite all my complaining about the rain, we only recorded 20mm over the last few days, but it was a good soaking rain that was most welcomed.

Ummmm, I actually cant remember what on earth I did this morning, so I might be making some of this up?  Oh yes, I was heading south, aiming to go follow up on Nthombi and her cub and their kill, but a hyena running across the road with a large piece of meat drew my attention and we tried to follow with no luck.  I was now heading towards the Nhlaralumi, so carried on course to see if I could locate on some of the elephants that had been in the area of Makulu Dam yesterday afternoon, and we managed to first find a very small herd of five of them in the river below the dam wall, but they moved out and we had a fair sighting of them before carrying on and finding another much bigger group, but they seemed to be on a mission and headed straight into a mopane thicket so we left them too.

Two seperate elephant herds and a lonely hippo

The kudus and impalas that had kept us company yesterday seemed to have gone, but one giraffe did make an appearance before we saw a herd of buffalos on the opposite side of the riverbed and made our way around to view them whilst waiting to go to the leopard sighting.

Giraffe and buffalo herd at Tamboti Pan

Nthombi and her boy weren’t making it easy for us and were walking on the riverbank to the south, but kept criss-crossing – I started on the eastern bank and had a distant visual of them, but when they appeared to have decided to stay on the west, I went around only to have them cross the large rocks and move to the east, so back around we had to go!

Nthombi and her boy moving along the Nhlaralumi riverbed

Once back with them, we were treated to a stunning sighting as the two fat-bellied leopards were full of life in the cool conditions and spent a good while playing with each other in a little clearing making for a superb sighting.

Amazing sighting of Nthombi and her boy in a playful mood after finishing their kill

Nthombi then moved off and the cub followed but soon tired of this and turned around and walked off in the oppositee direction, no doubt back to Steep Sharalumi and we took that as our cue to move on and go have a cup of coffee before a reasonably quiet drive back to the lodge, with only a few kudus, impalas, giraffes and zebras showing themselves.

Mother and son eventually seperated and went their own ways
The afternoon brought with it a strange phenomenon...sunshine!!!  My guests had seen so much the last few days that I was going to take a chance and try the east, so I headed towards the Kruger boundary, but only had a few steenbuck and impalas for company.  In typically cruel fashion, as I arrived on the most eastern boundary, the most eastern boundary sprang to life – a herd of buffalo, a group of large elephant bulls (that was one of my reasons for going east was to look for some large elephants),a rhino and the two Sohebele males were all found around Voel Dam, making it quite a full dam this afternoon!

Impala and hippo in the east

I decided to cut my losses and make my way back west and as we did, we just enjoyed the sunshine; we came across a small group of buffalo bulls, giraffes, waterbuck, kudus and impalas before managing to relocate the buffalo herd that had moved east from the dam.

Buffalo sunlight!!!!

After that, we made our way to the rhino that was resting in a mopane woodland, he stood up on our approach and carried on walking off to the south after posing for a few photos.

Rhino bull

On the opposite side of the drainage line was a group of elephant bulls that then got our attention, especially as Classic was amongst them – he is the second largest of the collared elephants, but sadly one of his impressive tusks has broken off, but he is still a sight to see!

Elephant bulls near the rhino

Going a few hundred metres back north, we popped in to see the Sohebele males that had really walked some distance last night – we had their tracks going to the east, but now they ended up on the western boundary!  They were sadly fast asleep and barely woke up on our approach; as we had seen them nicely the last two days, we didn’t spend much time with them before shooting off to have a drink.

Sohebele males

Heading back to camp, we found the buffalos again resting in a clearing, and I am sure that tonight, the Sohebele males will not miss out an opportunity to get one!

The evening ended off with us seeing the one thing the guests had been wanting to see the whole trip – STARS!  And wow, what a lovely scene it was above our heads as the Milky Way twinkled in all its splendour to once more end another fantastic day at Motswari!


  1. Question : Young buffalo has blood around the nostril and mucous (froth). Is it ill?

  2. All of the Big Five and then some ... Someday ...