Thursday, 25 October 2012

25th October: Dazzling Journey.

Pic Of The Day.

Morning Drive.

( Grant, Herold, Shadrack & Marka.)

Rhino ( Male)
Leopard ( Mbali) / Mbali – Woza Woza Cutline.
Leopard ( Argyle Jnr) / Motswari – Motswari Airstrip Rd.
Lion ( Female & Cub) / Motswari – Argyle Rd.
Lion ( Xiapoko & Mabande Males) / Kings – Cole's Plain.
Buffalo ( Dagha Boys) / Motswari – Mbanzu Access.

Afternoon Drive.

( Grant, Herold, Shadrack, Marka & Chad.)

Rhino ( Male)
Rhino ( Male)
Leopard ( Mbali Female) / Mbali – Woza Woza Cutline.
Leopard ( Argyle Male) / Argyle – Mfene Crossing.
Elephant ( Kambaku) / Vielmieter - 2nd Tsharalumi Crossing.
Lion ( Xiapoko & Mabande Males) / Kings – Cole's Plain.

Daily Synopsis.

Waking to yet another overcast and windy day we did not set off with any preconceived thoughts for how the morning was going to shape up as we would more than likely be wrong as we had been the past few days. With long stays aboard I was again unsure of where to head and only decided once drifting down Motswari's Southern Access. It was time for a change of pace and scenery so although there was a lot to follow up on in the North from the previous evening I thought it a good idea to head to the South. A plan started to formulate from there, we were first going to check on the Hyena Den, see if we could get lucky there, failing that we would zig-zag around looking for general game of the plains type. Being very quit initially we found ourselves in the South quite quickly and after another failed visit to the den things were not looking good. The den itself looks like it has been abandoned though as we found no tracks at the entrance or any signs of activity and it could be worth our while checking back on Java at the original den, site maybe they forwent Spring Cleaning and moved completely. As had been with the previous days the bush held yet another surprise for us and no sooner had we settled in for a quit drive did things start appearing. First we found the rare Wildebeest, a creature we don't often see and on this occasion they were very relaxed and went about their feeding on the plentiful new green growth in the area.

Leaving them to their wandering we set off and then found ourselves a nice sighting at Entrance Dam of a lone Hippo, a Spoonbill, a Grey Heron and a Pied Kingfisher, an unlikely congregation of creatures on such a small body of water.

Moving on it was not long before we found a very nice group of Zebra, think it is called a Dazzle, mixed amongst a very nice herd of Giraffe, collectively called a Journey. The two together must therefore be called a Dazzling Journey, which would be appropriate as that is what our drive was turning out to be. With more Zebra joining the party a young lone Giraffe felt a little overwhelmed and kicked out while running off this had everyone startled and running in their own direction.

With the party over we took our leave and headed off for coffee, along the way we ran into Pat from Kings Camp, he kindly invited us to go view two large male Lions who had caught a Buffalo on their property a couple of days ago and were still in the area. Knowing how impressive they are and with Pat hinting it was a great sighting we took him up on his offer and headed further South. Our timing could not have been more perfect as we arrived as the larger of the two managed to pull himself up and slowly make his way to a pool of water for a drink. We got front row seats to him drinking and were able to appreciate exactly what a prime animal he is. Finishing up he returned to his brother and flopped down to settle in for the afternoon. Having had a great sighting of the two of them we took our leave as we still had a million miles to travel back home, it was well worth the trip though and yet again everything seemed to fall into sequence for us, although we never did get around to that cup of coffee.

Those that remained in the North had just as good a morning with them finding Granny Mbali and after receiving news from Petros, who was on his way to Motswari from his leave, that their was a Lioness on the tar road north of camp with a young cub feeding on a baby Giraffe, they two saw Lion. I guess an afternoon in the North is going to be called for.

Our afternoons objective was to find Rhino as on both previous occasions we had found them after sunset and not got any decent pictures. With the guys having one of our relaxed males in the North in the morning we thought that would be a good place to start. 

Heading to the area to follow up we received a radio call from Herold informing us that he had a distant visual of a Rhino feeding out on the plains. Well that was easy! Already heading in that direction it did not take us long to find him feeding out in the open on the new grass of the plain. We could not ask for a better photographic opportunity. Spending some time with him in the perfect setting we had achieved our afternoons objective within the first thirty minutes, hmm.........................what's next? 

Having Mbali Female just around the corner and hearing that she was still up her Marula Tree with the remainder of her kill and two Hyena lurking below we headed off in her direction. As was with our sighting with Ntombi a couple of days ago we found her sprawled out on a branch sound asleep. So deep asleep that you could see her eyes rolled back in the socket and there were a couple of occasions that she nearly slipped out the tree completely only catching herself at the last moment. This still didn't rouse her from her rest and shifting position you could once again see the eye's rolling back. The Hyena's had even resorted to resting below in some nearby shrub looking nearly as comatose. All I can say is good luck to them and that they must have the patience of a saint.

Before we all drifted off into Neverland we took our leave and headed towards the Tsharalumi River for a spot of birding and to see what else would come our way. It was surprisingly quit on the birding front but we must have still been emitting Rhino vibes as rounding a corner one of my guests casually pointed out a Rhino in the riverbed below. He was slowly feeding to the North on the bank while marking his territory every twenty metres along the way. He was a very impressive male and although we had seen Rhino already we did not seem to be able to draw ourselves away and we eventually had him next to the car rubbing up against a large Weeping Boerbean. All done with his rub he moved off to the West we stuck with him a little in the hope he would visit a nearby wallow but when he turned to the South of it we took our leave and headed for our sundowners at a spot in the river nearby.

Our trip home after drinks was uneventful although Argyle Male was found near camp fishing in the Sohobele River we had seen Leopard and therefore did not respond.

So............................... My time as the blog master has come to an end but I'm all sure you will be glad to hear that Chad is back and will be taking over as of tomorrow. It has been fun and hopefully it won't be as long till the next time, till then take care.

Highlight Of My Day.

Although the Lion sighting in the morning was awesome, I'm always a fan of animal behaviour and therefore the interaction between the Giraffe and the Zebra would have to be my favourite for the day.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Grant, for a week long "journey" that was "dazzling". Have to love the collective names in the animal kingdom ...