Saturday, 1 December 2012

29th November – A New Face

Photo of the Day

A new male leopard in the east!

Morning Drive
(Grant, Marka, Chad and Shaddy)
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Peru, Mbali River Rd
1 x breeding herd of elephants –Peru, White Syringa Rd

Afternoon Drive
(Chad, Shaddy, Grant, Marka and Herold)
1 x leopard (unknown semi-relaxed male) – Borneo, Zebrawood Pan
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Mbali, Woza-Woza Cutline
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Mbali, Mvubu Crossing
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Peru, Wilkins Way
2 x elephant bulls – Karans, Majavi Dam
1 x elephant bull – Motswari, Northern Access
1 x breeding herd of buffalo – Argyle, Long Rd

Daily Synopsis

I only took me one drive to chase off all the animals; that is almost a record for me?  Following on from the abundance of sightings the last week, today’s morning drive was dreadfully quiet! 

There really was not much to talk about this morning – it started well enough with nice impala, steenbuck and waterbuck, but as we continued our search for the wild dogs, we found nothing more than a herd of elephants in a mopane thicket that didn’t really provide for good viewing! 

Waterbuck, impala, European swallows and a breeding herd of elephants

Sadly, there was not a single track for a wild dog as we searched the wider area around where they had been- this means that either they are still in the same area or we missed them going out of our central section last night!

Carrying on, we went and had a cup of coffee at Entrance Dam and saw some impala, giraffe, zebra and wildebeest along the way, but on resuming, things didn’t get better – we added warthog to the list, but besides some generally good avian viewing, the game viewing left a lot to be desired as the morning heated up. 


In the afternoon, I began by checking the north to take my guests to visit Motswari Private Camp, and with the mercury touching 36, I think we were all tempted to make used of the gorgeous infinity pool there!

Resuming with the normal drive, we ticked off warthog, impala, and a lone elephant bull, but not much else. 

Marka amazingly radioed in a male leopard at Zebrawood Pan in the east; only the second leopard I have ever heard being called in on Borneo...even more amazingly, I responded!  Marka had sat with the young male for quite a while, but he was hiding in some scrubby mopane, and didn’t provide the best viewing all the time, but for a leopard in the east, and a new one at that, he was pleasingly relaxed!

Semi-relaxed male leopard resting in the mopane shrub in the east

At one point though, he did give us a mock charge, so we kept a bit more of a distance, despite him looking quite relaxed at about 30m; after a while, the heat got too much for him and he made his way to the water to drink; he approached shyly, but settled to drink, albeit behind the only log!  I wasn't going to reposition for fear of disturbing him, but after he had quenched his thirst, he casually walked away across the small clearing and we left him to it!

Having a drink at Zebrawood Pan before casually walking off

We then went to check Majavi Dam, but all we found was a flat tyre, so stopping for a tyre change and a drink, we enjoyed a glorious sunset before resuming as the lightning flashed around in the distance; we stopped to appreciate this spectacle for a while before going about a rather quiet night drive that only produced an African wild cat and a chameleon as well as a glorious red moon rising in the east.

Impala lamb and some lightning around sunset

So while the day wasn't overly abundant with animals, it was still a nice one, and we look forward to what tomorrow will bring!


  1. Nice lighting shots Chad.
    Love the photo where the leopard just glances over the log :-). Let's hope he becomes another regular.


  2. I've been reading this blog for some time now. I've never been to Africa but I am an avid wildlife conservationist and I enjoy all the pictures from the bush. Great job on this one. Love the picture of his eye just peeking through the hole in the wood.