Tuesday, 4 December 2012

2nd December – Bad Day to Be a Baby Impala!

Photo of the Day
Nthombi's boy resting up a tree

Morning Drive
(Herold, Marka, Chad and Shaddy)
2 x lions (Jacaranda lionesses with baby impala kill) – Motswari, Airstrip Rd
1 x leopard (Nthombi’s Boy) – Vielmetter, Bushbaby Loop
3 x rhinos
1 x breeding herd of buffalo – Jaydee, Confluence Crossing
2 x buffalo bulls – Java, Java Access
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Peru, Sohebele Dam

Afternoon Drive
(Herold, Chad and Shaddy)
2 x lions (Jacaranda lionesses) – Peru, Umbabat Cutline
19 x wild dogs (with baby impala kill) – Kings, Cole’s Drive
3 x rhinos
1 x breeding herd of buffalo – Peru, Lion Pan Rd
2 x buffalo bulls – Argyle, Buffalo Pan
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Peru, Giraffe Kill Rd
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Peru, Woza-Woza Cutline
1 x elephant bull – Argyle, Vyeboom Dam
1 x elephant bull – Kings, Ridge Rd
1 x elephant bull – Vielmetter, Elephant Dam Rd

Daily Synopsis

Well, that is so unlike me to have a delay in my blog posts!!!  But, trying to get back on track here!

Today started out with me going to see if there was any sign of the lionesses from last night, as it would be nice to see them in the daylight; so I headed along the airstrip with the impala all looking rather complete and hence not having been eaten by lions.  At the southern end of the airstrip, one male impala was alarm calling sporadically, but it was worth checking out, and sure enough, there were the lionesses, with one less than complete baby impala!  They had barely moved last night, but at least got a small meal, although only one of the lionesses was eating it.

Jacaranda lionesses with a baby impala kill

They moved off towards Argyle Dam, but strangely didn’t drink and carried on straight past it, so we went off in search of some rhinos whose tracks Herold had seen earlier. 

Moving a bit to the south, we found the same large grouping of elephant feeding around Sohebele Dam again – while some were in the open and river bed, many more were scattered in the surrounding woodlands, and there must have been at least 70-80 elephants in the area; once again, we were treated to a wonderful sighting before moving on.

Getting down to Java, Petros began tracking the rhinos as I checked around finding a load of impalas, our wildebeest herd – now with seven babies – and a small group of giraffes.

The only rhino tracks I found were for a lone male, meaning that the others were still in the block somewhere, so Petros and Difference kept tracking...meanwhile, Shaddy and Tiyani had persisted with looking for leopard and soon found Nthombi’s boy, but had no sooner found him when he went into the Nhlaralumi and he was lost, but Tiyani went on foot, and I had no sooner arrived in the area when Tiyani radioed to tell me that he had tracked the leopard down in a drainage line!  Sadly, the area was tough, but eventually the leopard went up and slept in a large tree and posed magnificently for photos!

Nthombi's gorgeous boy

Parting company, we heard that the trackers had located the rhinos a few kilometres from where we dropped them off – conveniently, this also happened to be about 30m off the very road I was heading home on, so we got to see our rhinos before heading back to the lodge for breakfast.

My afternoon mission was to head south and see the wild dogs that had been located in that area in the morning, so naturally, needing to head south, I went and checked our very northern boundary?  Puzzling, yes, but worth it.  Petros started by spotting us a giraffe, pity it was more than a kilometre away!

Good spot Petros...albeit about a kilometre away!

We did see some closer to us, as well as a lone elephant bull drinking in the riverbed, and a couple of buffalo bulls amongst sightings of impalas, steenbuck and waterbuck.

Moving south along the Nhlaralumi, we passed the end of a herd of elephants and managed to relocate on a small breeding herd of buffalo that had been around in the morning before pushing further south.

We spent some time watching a pair of giraffes that looked ready to mate, but humorously the male was struggling to stay “ready”, and the female was clearly a real tease!  After he, ummm, retracted, we moved on and arrived in the area of the wild dogs.

The pack had just caught a baby impala (as I said, not a good day to be one, as it was the second one we saw getting munched today!) and the pups were all feeding as the adults milled about, but from their behaviour, it appeared that they had also made another kill before the pack reunited and moved on.

Wild dogs with baby impala kill

Herold moved in to take over from me, and got to watch the pack chasing an African civet up and down several trees, as well as chasing off a hyena...all this while I got to watch my guests chasing back gin and tonics!

Heading back to camp, we passed a lone hyena before finding four of the young hyenas out and active at our hyena den which was a great way to end off the evening, despite a quiet last 20 minutes of the drive...but hey, with the Big 5 and wild dogs today, no one was complaining!  Oh yes, and I got to see my first black-eyed bulbuls in the reserve! (its a bird, don’t worry!)


  1. Oh Chad - your photos are glorious! I so want your life! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Chad as usual write up and pictures that make me ever so enviuos of your life

  3. Great day in the bush Chad... Big five and wild dogs. I absolutely love the elephant, giraffe, wildebeest with babies and leopard shots (Too name just a few).


  4. Definitely a great day in the bush - we got the big 5, even the super 7 ;o)

  5. Another Big Five & Wild Dog day. Stunning, stunning pictures. Thank you, Chad.