Photo of the Day
|Rockfig Jnr's Blue-eyed boy!|
(Herold, Chad and Shaddy)
1 x leopard (Argyle Jnr’s Boy) – Argyle, Buffalo Pan
3 x rhinos
1 x breeding herd of buffalo – Peru, Voel Dam
1 x elephant bull – Karans, Kruger Cutline
2 buffalo bulls – Motswari, Wisani Access
(Herold and Chad)
2 x lions (Ximpoko and Mabande males) – Umlani, Rhino Rd
1 x leopard (Rockfig Jnr’s boy) – Kings, Double Highway
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Mbali, Western Cutline
2 x elephants – Vielmetter, Elephant Dam
7 x buffalo bulls – Vielmetter, 1st Sharalumi
2 x buffalo bulls – Karans, Western Cutline
Having had such a fantastic day yesterday, I didn’t really have much of a mission, and could take it easy, so I decided to check up on what was happening in the east, seeing as I hadn’t driven there for a few days...well, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised to find that the answer to my question was “nothing”.
Moving to the north-eastern corner and then back to the Kruger cutline, we only ticked off impalas and a lone elephant crossing into Kruger, but it was all very quiet. Luckily, I didn’t feel so bad, as everyone else was having an equally quiet morning, so we still enjoyed a change of scenery; it was only as we arrived back in the central section that things sprung to life; first a buffalo herd was found in the west, then as Herold was radioing in that he had found a leopard, we spotted some rhinos walking down the road a good few hundred metres away; it happened to be the same three from yesterday, and we spent some more time with them before making a turn in Herold’s direction.
|Impala, mopane worms, elephant and a crash of rhinos|
The animals then started popping out with more impalas, steenbuck, zebras, giraffe and even a scrub hare showing themselves!
The leopard was the young male cub of Argyle Jnr, and he was very relaxed today and posed marvellously for us before as he wandered around Buffalo Pan, his favourite haunt at present! After some good time with him, we went and had a cup of coffee before making tracks back to the camp.
|Argyle Jnr's boy|
My afternoon mission was to find male lions; luckily I knew of two...the problem was, they were about 25km away! But, being keen to see some myself, I explained to my guests that they were in for a long trip, and off we trudged to the south. We passed impalas, steenbuck and then spent some time with a herd of elephants along the way, as well as a couple of warthogs milling about the hyena den!
Deciding to check up on reports of a leopard on Double Highway, I took a chance, and luckily managed to get lucky after one of my guests spotted the cat resting under a bush about 20m off the road! The cat in question was a welcome surprise, and was the blue-eyed boy of Rockfig Jnr, a leopard I haven’t been able to photograph properly since May this year, so I was delighted to see his pale eyes peering from the bushes!
|Rockfig Jnr's male cub - look at those eyes!|
He was surprisingly relaxed, and while he did try hide away at first, after a mock charge he realised we were no harm and carried on his business, which included lying in some thick bush before trying to chase a scrub hare with no luck...either way, to see this stunning cat was a treat, but we parted company and continued further south, as we still had a way to go.
It was unusually quiet in the south, and while there was a lot of impala about, there wasn't much else, but with a cloudy sky coloured wonderfully with a rainbow, we didn’t seem to mind!
The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow was the two Ximpoko male lions, and what an impressive pot of gold they were! Despite being early, they did show some signs of life, and the bigger boy did wake up and almost added a massive bonus when he began to roar, but he realised it was too early and soon flopped back down to sleep and we took this as our cue to move on and go have a drink...then he roared! While we might not have been right by him, it was still great to hear before we embarked on a long journey home.
|Ximpoko and Mabande male lions|
The trip was a bit quiet, although we did pass some giraffes and a lone hyena, arriving back at camp late to see a lone hippo grazing in front of the lodge as we enjoyed yet another delicious meal from the kitchen; once again, just another tough day in Africa!