Photo of the Day
(Chad and Shaddy)
1 x leopard (Umfana male with impala kill) – Vielmetter, Back Nines West
1 x rhino
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Peru, Long Rd
1 x elephant bull – Java, Java Dam Access
(Chad, Shaddy, Grant and Herold)
30 x wild dogs (with duiker kill) – Scholtz, Scholtz River Rd
6 x lions (2 Timbavati lioness and 4 cubs with a buffalo kill) – Buchner
1 x rhino
1 x elephant bull – De Luca, Western cutline
1 x elephant bull – Motswari, Bush Braai Rd
1 x elephant bull – Buchner
Cant believe another month is the bush has come and gone! Although I still have one day of driving left, Grant and Andrea will be looking after the blog until my return next week! I once again trust that you have enjoyed the stories that we have had to share with you, and thank you once again for all the views and comments on the blog – wonderful to be able to share this little bit of paradise with all you folks from all over the world!
Once again, we had a bumper day, although it didn’t appear that it would start as such! As the wild dogs rested in the same spot yesterday, I wanted to head there to follow up on them, and made my way straight that side, but did stop and view some impalas and zebras on Kudu Pan Clearing on the way before beginning what turned out to be a rather fruitless search, and an hour and fifteen minutes later, we had not even found tracks to follow up on! Leaving the area to go adn follow up on a nervous leopard with a kill that Giyani had found, we struck it lucky when I caught a large grey shape with the corner of my eye – luckily for us, it was a rhino, and not an elephant as I initially suspected! It was a relaxed male in an area we don’t usually find relaxed males, but he was on such a mission following the scent of something that he barely stood still for a second, so when Shaddy radioed to let me know that the nervous leopard was not so nervous, we left the rhino and made our way to the area of the leopard, enjoying some warthogs and impalas on the way.
The leopard was none other than Umfana male, and he had an impala kill up in a large knobthorn tree, and put on a great show for us as he not only lazed about in the tree, but also went to feed.
He was full, so soon went back to groom and pose for us, snarling at our presence every once in a while!
After some quality time with him, we parted company and made our way back north to the lodge, seeing impalas, kudus and zebras as we went.
After a nice bush walk, my afternoon mission was to once again go look for the wild dogs, luckily, Shaddy was on hand to assist us! We got distracted by fresh male leopard tracks at the camp (and a lone elephant), but after 45 minutes, we chose to go look for the dogs, but the search was looking very fruitless once again, and we saw very little...then Shaddy told me he had tracks going to our southern boundary....but a minute later, he told me he had two dogs, and I began a rather impressive raly race to the area, but it was worth it! We arrived and found the dogs in a massive thicket, but in a clearing in the middle, the pups were all busy fighting and playing with the remains of a duiker kill as 15 of the adults went off hunting again
We tried waiting for the adults to return, amazed that the pups stayed in one place for so long, but as it got dark, we moved on for a drink in a clearing about a kilometre away. We had no sooner set up the table when we looked up and saw two adult wild dogs standing watching us from 60m away! They then carried on past us, and for the next 10 minutes or so, one by one the dogs came running past us as we enjoyed our drinks! One, carrying a piece of meat with it, came running within 25m of us, and paid no attention at all to our presence, while others growled their disapproval from 70m away! It was just such a surreal and magical moment to be standing there having a drink and watching one of Africa’s most amazing animals go about their business as if we weren’t there! Truly Blessed!
Heading back to the lodge, we managed a brief sighting of two honey badgers, but not a great deal else, but still, with 30 wild dogs in a drive, no one was complaining!
It was also a fitting note to end off my blog cycle that really was filled with some absolutely stunning sightings, and I hope that next month follows in a similar vein!