Wednesday, 31 October 2012

29th and 30th October – The Struggle Continues!

Photo of the Day
More grazing rhinos!

29th October Morning Drive
(Peter, Marka, Herold and Johannes)
3 x rhinos
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Argyle, Vyeboom Dam
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Vielmetter, Vielmetter Access
4 x elephant bulls – Vielmetter, Double Highway
7 x buffalo bulls – Motswari, Trough Rd

29th October Afternoon Drive
(Chad, Peter, Herold and Marka)
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Jaydee, Jaydee Access
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Java, Back of Java
5 x elephant bulls – Peru, Sohebele Dam
2 x elephant bulls – Argyle, Argyle Dam
1 x breeding herd of buffalo – Vielmetter, Sweetwater Southern Access
2 x buffalo bulls – Vielmetter, Elephant dam
4 x buffalo bulls – Vielmetter, Sweetwater Pan
2 x buffalo bulls – Vielmetter, Piva Rd
2 x buffalo bulls – Vielmetter, Lower River Rd
2 x buffalo bulls – Vielmetter, Nyosi Crossing

30th October Morning Drive
(Chad, Peter, Herold and Marka)
2 x rhino
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Peru, Giraffe Kill Rd
1 x elephant bull – Peru, Illegal Crossing

30th October Afternoon Drive
(Chad, Johannes, Herold and Marka)
2 x rhinos
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Vielmetter, Elephant Dam Rd
4 x elephant bulls – Argyle, Buffalo Pan Access
1 x elephant bull – Vielmetter, 2nd Sharalui
1 x elephant bull – Karans, Western Cutline

Daily Synopsis

I returned to drive on Monday afternoon after hearing about how the guys had been struggling for cats the last few days, and sadly, my first two days back on drive seemed to be a continuation of this trend!
I know that cats are not the be all and end all of a safari, but as it is what most guest wish to see, it is a bit frustrating when they are not playing now!

Fortunately, we have actually been pretty lucky with a load of other sightings, and our diversity of viewing has been very good!

The first afternoon started with me taking it easy in the north, and we ticked off impala, kudu, waterbuck, warthog, steenbuck, duiker, bushbuck, nyala and zebra as we bumbled about; luckily my guests had seen good game on the way in – one couple saw Xindzuti male leopard resting next to the road, the other group saw buffalo, elephant and rhinos!

Impala, waterbuck, kudu, warthogs and zebras
We made our way back at Argyle Dam and had a lovely sundowner with hippos for company, and they were very active which was a treat.  On the way home we saw two elephants a scrub hare, but in general it was a touch quiet.

The next morning I decided to take a chance and head east in the hope that some sign of lions could be found to follow up on; we saw a blind snake (which I had never seen before!), as well as several groups of zebras on Kudu Pan Clearing, and a lone wildebeest trying to be a zebra!

Zebra and lone wildebeest

Making our way south along the Kruger boundary was exceptionally quiet, and as we moved back to the central areas, things didn’t really pick up!  Only once back near Java did we improve, and enjoyed a large herd of zebra, wildebeest and giraffes together.

A bit further down the road we got to see two rhinos resting, but it was in a slightly thick area, so not ideal for photos.

Giraffe, wildebeest and rhinos

After a cup of coffee, we headed back to the lodge, seeing kudu and impala as we went, as well as a relaxed Sharpe’s Grysbok, and a brief sighting of an African wild cat in the day, so both of those were a treat!

Sharpe's Grysbok!

The afternoon saw several stations following up on Umfana male, that Giyani and his Java guests got to see late in the morning, but sadly, despite their best efforts, he remained elusive in the afternoon.

Moving southwards during the course of the drive, we did alright; crocodile, hippos, impala, kudu, waterbuck, warthogs, and steenbuck and duiker.  But signs for big cats were just not forthcoming...

Hippos and a tree squirrel

Eventually we got to see a lone elephant bull, and spent quite a bit of time with him as he fed on the riverbank of the Nhlaralumi, and we all had bets on whether or not he was going to slip down the side of the bank...luckily for him, I lost the bet!

Elephant bull

Moving on from him, we got to see those two rhinos again, and they were in a much better area, so we managed to get a few photos as they fed around.


Before closing for a drink, we did come across a small herd of elephants, and as always, the babies kept us entertained with their antics.

The drive home was a quiet one again, and all we saw was a had spots and looked like a cat, but not quite what we had on the list!  

As always, one cant lose faith, and we have to just go out there again tomorrow and hope that some animals return...


  1. Kyk hoe mooi groen is alles na die reën ...

  2. Thanks for the update Chad. Nice and green there!!! Great photos as always, and I have had MANY days like that without cats ;-)

    Good luck buddy.