Monday, 10 September 2012

9th September – I Think It’s Called “The Sun”?

Photo of the Day
Hyenas playing at the den site

Morning Drive

(Chad and Grant)

2 x lions (Sohebele males on a buffalo kill) – Argyle, Hyena Pan

2 x rhinos (mother and female calf)

1 x breeding herd of elephants – Jaydee, Vielmetter-Alberts Cutline

1 x breeding herd of elephants – Mbali, Antheap Corner Rd

1 x elephant bull – Mbali, Java Dam Rd

Afternoon Drive

(Andrea, Herold and Shaddy)

Rhino (Mother & Calf, joined by a male)

Elephant (Breeding Herd) / Peru - Lion Pan Link

Elephant (Breeding Herd) / Peru - Illegal Crossing

Elephant (Breeding Herd) / Argyle - Just south of Woza Woza

Buffalo (9 Daghaboys) / Vielmeter - Nkombe Pan

Buffalo (1 Daghaboy) / Motswari - Crossing Below Argyle

Buffalo (3 Daghaboys) / Motswari - Marula Pan

Buffalo (2 Daghaboys) / Peru - Madach Pan

Daily Synopsis

I’m eventually back up to date with the blogs, and this is also my last blog for a wee while as I am heading off on leave for a week or so, and as Grant is also going on his leave, I shall be leaving the blog in the wonderfully capable hands of none other than Ms Andrea Campbell.

My last drive for the cycle was a bit of a quiet one in comparison to what the rest of the month had offered, but then in a way, that was what I had planned.  The Big 5 was on offer once more in a relatively small area, but I had two missions this morning; head down to the hyena den in the first light of the morning, and then to go and see the blue-eyed Thumbela leopardess on her impala kill way down south after receiving an invite from Tanda Tula – not that we needed leopard, but I just hadn’t seen this girl for so long, I really wanted to go!

Sadly though, I had yet to reach the hyena den (on a quiet morning, but again, we didn’t care as we were too mesmerised by the bright yellow thing rising in the east, I think its called ‘the sun’???) when a radio message came through that a lioness had stolen the leopards kill out of the tree and there was no sign of Thumbela around – the lioness and Nthombi leopardess were actually both found later in the morning on Vielmetter, but neither Grant nor I responded. 


After only impala and a couple of zebras, we arrived to find the den very active; three adults all letting their respective cubs suckle before they all woke up and the three smaller cubs began chasing one another around in typical fashion making for excellent viewing at the den this morning!

Was more surprised to see sunlight thana  wonderfully active hyena den

Leaving them, I headed back north for a link up; half my intention was to go and see the Sohebele male lions that had nabbed themselves a baby buffalo during the night, right where I had left the herd resting up in the evening.  Sadly though, with fat bellies I heard that both were fast asleep and I thus altered my plans.

There was fair general game around that included impalas, kudus, giraffe, and even a family of nyalas.

Giraffe and nyala

I then went to look for a herd of elephants that had been found earlier in the morning and managed to come across them in the same area as they enjoyed eating what little greenery remains on the trees.  The best part of this herd was the 6-month old baby that was full of life in the sunshine and running around attacking imaginary enemies, before she turned her attention on us a few times and came running at the car at full speed, ears flapping and trying her best to trumpet! 

Playful elephant calf

It was a real laugh watching her, but she eventually calmed down and followed mom as she walked off, and we took this as our cue to go grab a cup of coffee.

The morning ended with impalas, steenbuck and kudu, so while not the same excitement with the cats as the last few days, it was still a lovely way to end off another fabulous month at Motswari!

Wooly-necked storks and hamerkop feeding at Xinatsi Dam with an algal bloom after the rains causing the red in the water

I hope that you have enjoyed the blogs the last few weeks, and like you, I too am keen to see what magic things Andrea has to share with us over the coming week, so over to you Ms Campbell J

I started out a little later this afternoon after a late checkout, and the bush was kind by presenting 3 Daghaboys right in camp! They were rather skittish with the one's right back leg being a bit injured. There was some good general game out and about, especially the bachelor herd of waterbuck at Flooded Crossing. After finding another two buffalo slowly feeding around Madach Pan, I responded to a herd of elephant close by. There were two herds, however, the one was right in the middle of the riverbed and we could not make an entry into the sighting. So, instead we headed down to the herd further south bumping into the old dark giraffe bull on the way.

Other guys had responded to rhino and the lion from this morning. Both sightings were incredibly busy so we stopped for a relaxing drink first and then headed towards the lion. They were up and mobile from the buffalo kill they had, and were drinking from a little roadside puddle. The one facial injury is looking rather worse which is a little concerning. But, he is belly full and mobile so I reckon is far more hardcore than we are giving him credit for. It is still very difficult to see sometimes. I hope he gets better soon.

1 comment:

  1. I have such mixed feelings when blog duty changes hands. Feeling half guilty about being excited about what the "new blogger" is going to bring and half sad that the "old blogger" is going to be away for a few days. Just love you guys & gal and the pleasure you bring with your words and pictures.