Friday, 5 October 2012

3rd October –Spots Spotted, Just Not the Right Ones

Photo of the Day

Giraffe drinking water

Morning Drive
(Chad, Grant, Marka and Andrea)
3 x rhinos
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Peru, Klipgat Crossing
2 x elephant bulls – Peru, Granite Rd
1 x elephant bull – Motswari, Airstrip
1 x elephant bull – Motswari, Camp

Afternoon Drive
(Chad, Grant, Marka and Andrea)
3 x rhinos
1 x rhino
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Vielmetter, Vielmetter Access
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Jaydee, Hlara Misa Rd
5 x elephant bulls – Motswari, Camp Dam
2 x elephant bulls – Motswari, Wisani Crossing
1 x elephant bull – Jaydee, Tchwala Rd
7 x buffalo bulls – Motswari, Wisani Crossing
4 x buffalo bulls – Argyle, Crossing Below Argyle
2 x buffalo bulls – Java, Whitey’s Rest

Daily Synopsis
Im only two days late, so im getting better!

Today was a day filled with big game sightings of the non-feline form, and was successful besides the fact that my guests really wanted to see a leopard, and we couldn’t find one for love or money today!
My mission for the morning was spots, but not necessarily leopard spots – instead my guests wanted giraffes and I wanted hyenas!  They also wanted some stripes, so I headed south to where the giraffe herds have been more abundant lately – not far from the lodge we managed to tick off the stripes when we came across a harem of 13 zebras feeding next to the road.


Moving further south to Java, we did tick off general game such a impala and kudu, but not a great deal else; Grant checked the hyena den with no luck, but found our giraffes at Hide Dam, so I made my way that side until he picked up fresh tracks for rhinos, so I changed my route slightly to assist him; while working out routes of areas to check, he found them, so being nearby I went to join him.  It was the male, female and calf, and as usual they put on a great sighting as they fed near the vehicle.
I then went checking for leopards to the east of Vielmetter, but had no luck – fortunately though there were still giraffes near Hide Dam and we got to watch them for some good time, eventually being rewarded when two came down to drink for us.

Some good general game this morning; waterbuck, fish ealge, guineafowl, rhinos, kudu and giraffe

We then paused for some coffee and continued viewing them as they watched us – a herd of elephants that had been seen in the area earlier remained elusive and we had to head back to the lodge for as the temperatures soared!

Giraffe drinking

By the time afternoon drive came, we had a mild 39 degrees Celsius showing up on the the shade; the good news is, tomorrow will be even hotter!!!!

Luckily this spoilt us and a group of elephant bulls spent the day in front of the lodge, so heading around to them at the start of the drive we had a bonus of finding them in the company of a group of buffalo all we needed was a leopard!

Elephants and buffalo

Being so hot I stuck to the riverbeds and moved south from Buffalo Pan area to Mbali River Road and further south.  We ticked off more giraffes, hippo, lots of waterbuck, impala and kudus, but no spots.  

Giraffe and waterbuck

The course along the river wasn't overly productive, but eventually we had a small herd of elephants feeding not far from the riverbed and spent some time with them.

Elephant herd

Checking around Elephant dam and Sweetwater pan for Nthombi and her cub, we came up empty handed so stopped for a lovely sundowner at Sweetwater.
After drinks, we headed off back to the leopards’ favourite haunts, but only found a relaxed male rhino feeding as we came out of one of the riverbeds.

Rhino bull
The trip home was not so productive, and we sadly failed to add to our sightings for the afternoon, but we did enjoy the coolth that the night brought with it!

My guests are not going on a drive tomorrow morning, so you can be rest assured that at least one leopard will show up!!!  Annoyingly, as it was my night off and I went to town for some dinner, I did manage to find a leopard walking down the main road outside of the reserve, and also got to see a young male lion resting on the same road outside the reserve on my way back home (and hyena and buffalo too!) – not bad for a trip to town!


  1. ... and he takes a trip to town to see a leopard, lion, hyena and buffalo ...