Wednesday, 21 November 2012

20th November: Jacky Delivers On His Word.

Pic Of The Day.
Morning Drive.

( Grant, Chad & Herold.)

Buffalo ( Breeding Herd) / Buchner.
Lion ( Timbavati Females & Four Cubs) / Buchner.
Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Vielmieter – Entrance Dam.
Leopard ( Umfana Male) / Vielmieter – Vielmieter Access.
Rhino ( Female & Calf)

Afternoon Drive.

( Grant, Herold & Andrea.)

Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Peru – Wilkens Way.
Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Mbali - Mvubu Crossing.
Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Peru – Mbali River Rd.
Elephant ( Kambaku's) / Peru – Illegal Crossing.
Elephant ( Kambaku) / Vielmieter – Vielmieter Access.
Buffalo ( Dagha Boys) / Peru – Klipgat.
Rhino ( Male & Female)
Lion ( 2 x Sohobele Males) / Argyle – Argyle Dam.

Daily Synopsis.

Getting going under clouded skies we had a lot to do this morning and I'd hoped that Jacky had danced the night away after all his promises. With Herold and Chad finding Rhino and Leopard in the South the afternoon before we decided to head into those area's and hope we found the rest along the way. Chad chose to head to the East and try his luck once more with the Super Wilddog pack while Herold now headed North with all his guests on board hoping that there had been enough left of the Buffalo carcass to keep them overnight.

We got off to a good start as we found Zebra straight out of the blocks on the airstrip at first we had four rolling about taking a dust bath but these were later joined by a whole group that left us looking at a very impressive dazzle of Zebra for our area.

With still lots to see we continued on our way and as is common it was not long before we found another herd of Zebra in the next open clearing just after I'd mentioned that we don't often see Zebra as the habitat is not ideally suited to it. Not getting to distracted we continued South but the animals had a different plan and began popping up everywhere along our route. After a nice sighting of three Hyena and a herd of Waterbuck we headed towards the Tsharalumi River eager to start following up on the Rhino the guys had the afternoon before. Winding along the rivers course we found the next of Jacky's promises, Giraffe. As was with the Zebra, once finding one group, they seemed to be around every corner and by the end of the morning we would see four different journeys of Giraffe.

Not finding any signs of Rhino ourselves we continued South having been invited to view mom and calf who had been found earlier in the morning. As is usual along the way we once again became distracted as we found fresh tracks for a female and adolescent Lion. Knowing that the rest of the guys needed Lion badly we began following up until they could join and take over, anyway the tracks where taking us in the direction that we needed to go. With stations arriving on mass to take over we took our leave and continued on our objective although they were now tracking them as they had moved from their resting spot of earlier. With a couple of stations following up we thought it best to leave it up to them and it provided us a good opportunity to stop for a cup of coffee. Whilst stopped at Entrance Dam and all set up we had a herd of Elephant visit us. They approached cautiously obviously wanting to get to the water but when they got wind of us they walked a wide berth around us choosing to head to another watering spot nearby. 

No sooner had they left than we heard Impala alarm calling from where they had just come. Having seen Leopard tracks earlier we a thought it must be for him and we ended coffee abruptly and jumped into the vehicle to go investigate. With the help of the Impala it did not take us long to locate on Umfana Male slowly making his way towards the shelter of the thick vegetation alongside the riverbed trying to escape the Impala's constant harassment. We got ourselves a couple good views but we eventually lost him as he led us into the riverbed but then did not supply us with an exit on the opposite bank. We did try relocate him once getting ourselves around but he was nowhere to be found and nobody appeared keen to give away his position.

Whilst busy with this distraction they had relocated on the Rhino and we could make our way straight into the sighting. We found them in amongst more Giraffe, mom feeding in a static position whilst her youngster lay and slept at her feet. As mom drifted to far the youngster would raise herself and then plonk herself down once again at mom's side. Spending time with this very relaxed duo we eventually had to leave as our time was up and we still had our journey back North. Heading home we found ourselves another two herds of Zebra before closing down after a fantastic morning that Jacky had called the evening before. I must ask him why he does not do that everyday! 

Herold also had success in the North and although the Lions had deserted their Buffalo carcass they had not travelled far and he and difference had tracked them down relatively easy. Chad on the other hand had the morning we had ourselves the day before and apparently only saw five Warthogs the entire drive. I guessing he was paying Wildlife Tax for all his great sightings from the previous days.

With temperaturesss rocketing in the afternoon we set off South intending to follow up on Umfana Male Leopard who we had seen briefly in the morning and then head further South to visit the Xipoko Males who had been located in the morning lying up in the Tsharalumi Riverbed full bellied. No sooner had we set off than Jacky stopped me and pointed at tracks for two lions that had walked on top of our car tracks from the morning. From the size it looked like two females and we immediately thought it was the two adolescent Jacaranda Females. As only them and the Sohobeles walk in the heat of the day. Being considerably warm we thought they would not be far and Jacky and Difference went onto foot immediately to follow up. Both Herold and myself guest had seen good Lion the last couple days so we continued with our respective objectives leaving Shadrack to follow up with the trackers. A little down the road I heard Jacky mention that he now thought that the tracks belonged to males and that it could only be the Sohobeles. These must have been the tracks that Chad had mentioned that he had seen in the morning around our Eastern boundary. We continued South to look for our Leopard but a curve ball was thrown in when a Simbavati station driving around Argyle Dam located the two Sohobele Male's resting beside the dam. Hmm.............................. what to do, what to do? Putting it to my guests we decided to continue South and rather return to the sighting later in the evening when the rush had died down and they would hopefully be a little more active. Funny how we can go nearly a week without any Lions in site and then on one day we have four different prides in the area, a serious case of feast or famine. Herold also chose to continue South and along the way found three different herds of Elephant, a couple Dagha Boys and the Rhino that he was looking for. Our trip was a little less successful as we found no signs of Umfana Male who we thought would be a sure bet to be at Entrance Dam. None the less we had some nice Zebra and Giraffe once again, as well as our share of Elephant that seem to be around every corner at the moment, long may that last! 

Turning North we arrived back at Argyle Dam shortly after sun down to find both Sohobele Male's head up and attentive. They both look in great condition and every time I see them they look more and more like their ever legendary father the great Sohobele Male. The one with the mouth injury has healed up nicely and only a scar is evidence of his run in with a Buffalo. The other had picked up an injury on his back that looks like a tooth mark and is more than likely from an encounter with another pride in Kruger. This is maybe why they have now once again popped up in our area. Sitting with them they cast their attention to surveying the dam and the many animals that were making their way down to the water, possibly trying to choose from the menu for dinner later. With us finally loosing all light we said our goodbyes and headed off for a quick sundowner ourselves before heading home.


  1. Love the collective nouns and the little surprises that Grant hides away in his blogs. Love the hyena pic not to mention the lion pictures.

  2. I too think the lion pictures are fab, as is the young rhino, but could you please tell me what the grey/black winged bird around the elephant's feet is please. Some kind of starling perhaps?