Sunday, 6 January 2013

04th January – Good Times Keep Coming

Photo of the Day
Ximpoko male lion drinking

03rd January Afternoon Drive
(Chad, Herold and Peter)
29 wild dogs – Kings, Double Highway Concrete Crossing
2 x lions (Sohebele males killed baby buffalo) – Java, Confluence Crossing
1 x leopard (Umfana male) – Vielmetter, 2nd Sharalumi Crossing
4 x rhinos
2 x rhinos
1 x breeding herd of buffalo – Mbali, Buffalo Kill Rd
1 x breeding herd of buffalo – Java, Confluence Crossing
10 x buffalo bulls – Argyle, Western Sohebele River Rd
1 x buffalo bull – Java, Tamboti Wallow
1 x buffalo bull – Peru, Giraffe Kill Rd
1 x elephant bull – Peru, Mbali Dam
2 x elephant bulls – Argyle, Crossing Below Argyle

04th January Morning Drive
(Chad, Herold and Peter)
2 x lions (Sohebele males) – Peru, Lily Pan
3 x leopards (Argyle Jnr and two sub-adults) – Argyle, Lover’s Leap Crossing
1 x leopard (Mbali female) – Mbali, Woza-Woza Cutline
1 x elephant bull – De Luca, Jackalberry Pan
1 x buffalo bull – Peru, Giraffe Kill Rd

04th January Afternoon Drive
(Chad, Grant, Peter, Shaddy and Herold)
2 x lions (Sohebele males) – Peru, Lily Pan
2 x lions (Mabande and Ximpoko males) – Vielmetter, Elephant Dam
3 x leopards (Argyle Jnr and two sub-adults) – Argyle, Lover’s Leap Crossing
1 x leopard (Mbali female) – Mbali, White Syringa
4 x rhinos
2 x rhinos
2 x rhinos
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Peru, lily Pan
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Vielmetter, Western Sharalumi
1 x elephant bull – Argyle, Argyle Dam
1 x elephant bull – Motswari, Southern Access
1 x elephant bull – Jaydee, Madala Crossing
1 x breeding herd of buffalo – Jaydee, Civet Rd

Daily Synopsis
I was too busy talking about what a great drive I had the day before that I forgot to put up the sightings list, hence its inclusion above...but as can be seen from reading the sightings for today, the good times just keeps on coming!

Giyani had found Argyle Jnr and her two youngsters with an impala kill the evening before at Argyle Dam, so I headed out straight into that area, stopping to enjoy the hippos as the wind picked up before moving to the area where the leap of leopards had been, and luckily for us, they were all still around, and slowly we spotted them one by one!

It started with mom up a tree, but she soon jumped down and went to lie in the grass...

Then one of the guests spotted the daughter, and as she seemed unphased by our approach, at fiest I thought it was the little boy, but her gorgeous green eyes soon gave away her true identity, and after a short while she moved off...

So we moved a little further on to where the little boy was and spent the rest of the sighting of him, but he was so full that he didn’t do much but he did give us a great walk-by at one stage before we made space and went back to watch the hippos.

Luckily the rest of the reserve had been busy in the morning with three leopard sightings, three lion sigtings, elephants, rhinos and buffalos!  So like yesterday, my afternoon became easy to plan – main objective this eve was to get south to go and see the Mabande male lions and some elephants along the way if possible.

It started out quietly, and I had to listen to the guys enjoying a sighting of the three leopards at Argyle Dam as I looked at a few waterbuck, impala and a very distant zebra!

The elephant herd I was heading towards turned out to just be male elephants, and they were gone by the time I arrived at Lily Pan, but a herd had also been found a bit further south, so I wasn't too fussed.  Passing the pan, we spotted one of the Sohebele male lions resting near the water, and had no sooner pulled in when two rhinos came down to drink at the water on the other side.

So there we sat with lions on our left and rhinos on the right when a large herd of elephants suddenly began approaching from the left too! So now we had three of the Big 5 in one scene, but it was clear there was only going to be one winner!

The elephants chased the rhinos off, and the lions, being wise to the presence of a breeding herd of elephants wisely moved on before they evoked the wrath of a protective group of mothers!  We stayed and watched as the elephants drank and then moved off, except for one male that came to chase the rhinos off again after they returned to quench their unsatisfied thirsts!

Moving on from a remarkable scene, we passed some impalas before stopping for a drink in the Nhlaralumi, and again, a lone elephant appeared in the distance as we enjoyed a G&T.

Moving towards the lions at sunset, we found another two rhinos at a small pan but didn’t spend too long with them before carrying on towards Elephant Dam.


Arriving in the area, the two male lions had woken up and headed straight for the dam, and we timed it just right – not only did we get to watch them drinking, but after their drink, Ximpoko walked to the top of the drink spot near the dam and began roaring for us!

He was later joined by his brother, but when both flopped down after some grooming, we knew it was time to part company and we headed all the way back to camp, delighted with another wonderful day at Motswari!


  1. Absolutely wonderful pictures Chad, you really have a fantastic eye for composition, thank you for sharing ! Rosie.

  2. Fantastic how you got that blue sky behind the lit up roaring lion!!!

  3. Just fabulous!!!!
    Sue UK

  4. Stunning - feels like I am with you when I read the Blog - Great Pics Liz