Wednesday, 12 December 2012

11th Dec - Storm's Ahead!

Morning Drive
(Marka & Andrea)

Lion (2 Ximpoko males and 2 females) / Vielmeter – Steep Shlaralumi

Leopard (Rock Fig Jnr) / Kings – Ridge Road

Elephant (Breeding Herd) / Vielmeter – Lower Rive Road

Buffalo (group Daghaboys) / Java – Back of Java

Buffalo (group Daghaboys) / Motswari – Sohebele river bed in front of camp

Afternoon Drive
(Marka & Andrea)

Elephant (Breeding Herd) / Western Cutline, Karan’s Tower

We woke up to a particularly overcast day and trudged down to get our fill of morning coffee, only to find a group of buffalo in our riverbed. They were hiding from the wind looking very unwilling to budge. It was great to sit with morning teas and coffees watching one of the big five right on our doorstep! Of course the monkeys were also there, trying to catch us unaware and sneaking in for a morning piece of fruit or muffin.

The first part of drive was pretty quiet, with only one skittish steenbuck willing to show her little face. The Ximpoko male lion had been seen down on Jaydee so I slowly made my way down that side, hoping to find other things along the way. Marka found another group of buffalo close to Java. Just before it was our turn for the lion, we found a herd of elephant. We decided to spend some time with the lion first and then head back to the elephant.

The male lion had now been joined by two females (where previously it was only one). The larger male was still trying to mate with the one female, and she was juts not having any of it today, leaving him following her around like a lost puppy (well, a lost puppy with an incredible powerful and rather irritated growl). After the lion, we went back to the elephant herd and had an incredible sighting: playing babies, young males trying to mate with unwilling females, larger bulls swaggering right past the car and a female with very skew tusks. 

After a quick coffee stop, we responded to Rock Fig Jnr female leopard down on Kings, en route stopped to watch one rather large and lethargic monitor! The leopard was not in a good mood and did not feel like co-operating for photos - or for much visual for that matter. By the time we got there, a drizzle had already started falling. She was tucked in a thick bush, hiding from the rain and we got a brief view (with yes ONE photograph!) when she decided to change bushes. She had an impala kill and gave us a good menacing growl before ducking into another thick bush were she sat put. Being all the down on Kings, we had a very long way to go and as we pulled out of the sighting - the heavens opened! We got thoroughly drenched - it was a long and very wet drive back to camp.

It rained most of the day and by the time drive came around, I can't say I was really looking forward to another soaking. We headed out and as we rounded Argyle Dam, the rain started again. It looked a little clearer to the east so we shot off in that direction trying to miss the drops.

A couple of giraffe and zebra were slowly milling around and we sat with them for a little while. It had started raining once again and so once again, we chased the sun. Things were pretty quiet as they usually are when the weather turns. We met up with the rest of the group down on Java for a sundowner (not that we could see much sun). As we had drinks, another ominous cloud started moving over our heads. We decided to call it a day and head campwards!

As we shot back to the north, we bumped into a herd of elephant. By this time it was getting dark so after only a short view, we moved on. Despite fewer sightings this afternoon, the sky was spectacular!

With our guests wanting to go on a morning walk tomorrow - I certainly hope it clears a little for us!

1 comment:

  1. Even with a storm looming the viewing continues. Great stuff, Andrea.