Thursday, 18 October 2012

17th October: A Wet Blanket.

Pic Of  The Day.
Morning Drive.

( Grant, Herold & Shadrack.)

Elephant ( Kambaku's) / Argyle – Gina's Rd.
Buffalo ( Breeding Herd) / DeLuca – Drongo Drive.
Buffalo ( Breeding Herd) / Karans – Mom's Rd.

Afternoon Drive.

( Grant, Herold & Shadrack.)

Leopard ( Argyle Jnr & 2 x Cubs) / Argyle – Ingwelala Crossing.
Leopard ( Mbali Female) / Argyle – Hennie's Rd.
Leopard ( Makipi's Male) / Peru – Wilken's Way.
Elephant ( Kambaku) / Vielmieter – Bush-Baby Loop.

Daily Synopsis.

As I sit here in my warm dry comfortable room writing this, things were very different an hour or so ago. Morning drive got off to very different conditions in which it finished yesterday with the clouds having moved in and the wind having picked up over night. With the three of us being very keen on either Lion or Rhino we set off checking different area's promising to contact one another should we find tracks. As per usual Jacky and I got a little distracted and while Shadrack and Herold headed South hoping to get lucky with the tracks they had yesterday for two Rhino, we headed North hoping to follow up on our Elephant herd as our guests that had arrived late the afternoon before missed out on them.

Checking first to the East there was no sign of them having moved in that direction so we looped around to check the West after spending a little time with a small herd of Buffalo we had bumped into. Directly North of Motswari we found their tracks moving to the West, judging from the dung that littered the road and the broken branches they had been there early evening. This was not a good sign as we did not have much area to work with to the West before our traversing boundary and our fears were quickly confirmed when we found their tracks crossing the boundary. Our only hope now was that they had in fact walked early afternoon and continued on the path they were heading as this would then bring them back into our property further to the West. While we drove around to continue checking the cutline the morning was starting to shape up with Mbali being found again and two different sets of Lion tracks were being followed up further South. Herold and Shadrack unfortunately were not having any luck with their Rhino tracks but undeterred they continued their search although the skies were now darkening and closing in. With us not finding our breeding herd Jacky and I had to make a decision on where to head next but this decision was temporarily delayed as we found ourselves a very nice group of Elephant Bulls. They slowly fed on small shrubs out in the open and allowed us to visit each of them in turn, not taking much notice of us. While spending time with them our delayed decision was being answered for us as the heavens sprung a leak, at first it was a gentle sprinkling but this gradually intensified and soon could be classified a shower. 

Knowing that all tracks would be lost we chose not to head South and in turn decided to meander back towards the lodge in the event it should get any harder. Just as well we did as the skies opened and we found ourselves well placed to quickly return to the lodge. Lets hope it is drier this afternoon.

If I did not have much to say about this morning I have even less to tell you about this afternoon except that the weather improved and we remained dry on drive. Looking back on it, it was a very pleasant drive and nice to be out there after the rains had washed everything clean and the sun bathed it in it's golden afternoon light although this was quickly lost behind the menacing storm clouds on the horizon. So picture perfect scenery all we lacked were the animals as they seemed to remain hidden for the afternoon. This came as a surprise as we were sure we were going to have a bumper full afternoon. Herold got off to a great start, well sort of, responding to Mbali he bumped into Argyle Jnr and her two cubs with a fresh Impala kill, unfortunately they were all in one of their shy moods and on his approach they all ran to the North out of site, this normally would not have been a problem but being literally on our Northern traversing boundary they could not follow them and had only a distant visual of one of the cubs as it settled on a termite mound off in the distance. We are sure she will return to her kill but with only the riverbed to the South she is sure to drag it North out of our traversing area.

Our afternoons mission was to look for Rhino and Jacky and I decided our best chances lay in the South. So heading in that direction we soon became distracted with Buffalo tracks that had crossed our path. Cutting a long story short after driving around the surrounding roads we eventually isolated them to a block unfortunately for us they were not visible from the road and we could not go off road as normal due to the rain we had had. This should have been the first sign that things were not going to go our way. Continuing to the South we found very little else and even the abundant Impala were noticeably absent. In a desperate attempt to see something we chose to visit the Hyena Den but it came as no surprise to find no one home, not even tracks at the den's entrance to indicate that anybody had been or was home! Criss-crossing the entire Southern area we found no sign of the Rhino we were after, actually had it not been for a lone Elephant Bull we would have found no sign for anything living. The strange thing was that it was not only us and after the Leopard sighting everybody appeared to have a very quite afternoon. After drinks things seemed to pick up as Makipi's Male was found so we jumped on the opportunity to visit him. He is looking in great condition the little we saw of him, as no sooner had we arrived in the sighting he began to hunt. Not wanting to disturb him we left him after a very short visit.

Jacky and I now have a lot to do in the morning needing to find both Rhino and Lion for guests that check out after drive. Lets hope the animals play along.   

1 comment:

  1. Even with the heavens opening up, you find something to share with us.