Thursday, 27 December 2012

26th December: The Lull.

Pic Of The Day.
Morning Drive.

( Grant, Herold, Johanness & Giyani.)

Leopard ( Shongile Female) / DeLuca – Western Cutline.
Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Argyle – Buffalo Pan.
Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Argyle – Argyle Rd.
Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Argyle – Argyle Rd.
Buffalo ( Breeding Herd) / Vielmieter – Lower River Rd.

Afternoon Drive.

( Grant, Herold, Giyani, Pete & Andrea.)

Elephant ( Breeding Herd) / Argyle – Flooded Crossing.
Buffalo ( Dagha Boys) / Motswari – Xinatsi Dam Rd North.
Buffalo ( Breeding Herd) / Vielmieter – Nyosi Confluence.
Rhino ( Male & Female).
Rhino ( Male).
Leopard ( Shindzuti Male) / Peru – Sohobele Dam.

Daily Synopsis.

Waking to very different conditions from the previous few days we set off on drive under clouded skies and the threat of rain, as one of the guys always says, “ good weather for dogs!” With that in mind we thought we would head to our Northern Boundary and drive along the tar road and see what came our way. Five minutes out of camp a voice from the middle row shouted out “ Leopard!” Immediately stopping we saw Shongile hiding behind a shrub on a Termite mound watching and hoping we would not spot her, realizing her cover was blown she stood and started to wander off to the East. We have been finding her in this region quite a lot lately and it is further proof that Kuhanya is no longer in the area or sadly with us at all. Following behind her she led us through some tricky areas as she went about half heartedly hunting and marking her territory. We did find open patches were we got great views of her and at one stage she jumped up onto a fallen tree beside the car to stretch. Returning to the ground and resuming her antics we handed over the sighting to the next station and we too resumed our trip to the boundary. 

After our great start our drive took on the familiar “ quit period” and turning to the South we had only added a couple of Elephant to our list. Changing plans we stuck with the tar road to our South West traversing corner giving the dogs every chance to show themselves but apparently they did not get the memo and thus did not show themselves. A little disappointed we stopped for a coffee break to raise the spirits.

With great views and a sugar rush created we resumed drive more positive and it was not long before we found ourselves sitting in amongst a herd of Buffalo. They to had stopped for a break and were sitting in an open clearing. We sat with them a while as the majority ruminated and others went about feeding. There were also a couple that were in a very playful mood and were mock fighting. 

With a long way home we took our leave and left them to their games. After the Leopard the rest of the gang, who had spread to all corners of the reserve, also had themselves a very quit morning and it appeared that it was just one of those mornings were everything was in hiding. If things keep to fashion this afternoon should be a busy one as this will leave us wondering how it could have been so quite in the morning. Lets hope so.

Having guests for five and seven nights it gives you the opportunity to take things very easy and explore all corners of the reserve, it's usually on these drives were you don't really need to find things that you do. On afternoon drive Jacky and I decided to drive all the roads we hadn't yet and test this theory. Our journey would take us to areas less travelled and in areas that were, to roads less travelled. We once again got off to a very quit start but as things started to cool off we started to pick up on things, not big things, but things. Zig-zagging our way around we appeared to be having a Zebra afternoon finding a number of small herds in all the open areas we passed.

Finding ourselves near Elephant Dam where Herold had found two Rhino, he was in fact desperately looking for Lion, we joined him in the sighting. Herold moved off to continue his quest and figured his best chance was to locate the Buffalo herd that had been in the area in the morning and check if any Lions were following behind. He located on the Buffalo but unfortunately after excessive investigation he found no signs that any Lion were in the vicinity. 

Up North the guys and gal were having themselves a good afternoon with lots of Elephant in the area plus a Rhino of their own and a few Buffalo. Andrea and Pete also found Shindzuti Male shortly after sunset but true to his name he kept to the shadows and walked them through some very tricky areas where they eventually lost visual of him.

Our adventure eventually led us to drinks in the Tsharalumi Riverbed alongside one of the bigger pools of water but even this did not attract much attention and our drinks break came and went uneventfully. Having explored new areas and roads drive passed by very quickly and before we knew it we were heading back to camp after a very relaxed and peaceful drive. 

1 comment:

  1. I don't comment very often but I do read each and every entry you all make in these diaries. I will never have the opportunity to come to south Africa but through your writings and pictures, I can enjoy the land, the people and feel like I am actually there. I want to say thank you for all you have done over the last year, may the new year bring you joy and happiness and great animal sightings. Thank you again so much for being there for us!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Carol Yonts, Phoenix, Arizona, USA