Tuesday, 8 January 2013

06th January – Chad’s Curse is Back

Photo of the Day
Another pack of wild dogs in the area

Morning Drive
(Chad, Grant, Peter, Shaddy and Herold)
19 x wild dogs – Mbali, Western Cutline
2 x lions (Sohebele males) – Karans, KNP Cutline
1 x leopard (Argyle Jnr’s boy) – Argyle, Vyeboom Dam
4 x rhino
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Jaydee, Makulu Crossing
1 x elephant bull – Motswari, Marula Pan
1 x elephant bull – Peru, Piva Plains
1 x elephant bull – Motswari, Giraffe Pan
1 x breeding herd of buffalo – Karans, KNP Cutline
6 x buffalo bulls – Argyle, Argyle Dam

1 x buffalo bull – Peru, Lion Pan

Afternoon Drive
(Chad, Grant, Andrea, Shaddy and Herold)
2 x wild dogs – Karans, Karans Trough
1 x leopard (Umfana male with impala kill) – Vielmetter, Entrance Dam
1 x leopard (Mbali female) – Karans, Karans Trough
2 x rhinos
1 x breeding herd of buffalo- Vielmetter, 2nd Nhlaralumi
3 x buffalo bulls – Argyle, Argyle Dam
1 x buffalo bull – Peru, Giraffe Kill Rd
7 x buffalo bulls – Jaydee, Nkombi Pan
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Jaydee, Tamboti Pan
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Jaydee, Tchwala Rd
1 x elephant bull – Argyle, Argyle Dam

Daily Synopsis

After the good run I had been on, I knew things had to come to an end like they did yesterday, but I didn’t expect my bad luck to return where I seem to just chase all living animals away, and the way this day started, it seemed that is just what was happening.

Needing to find the Sohebele males, we headed to Java and soon picked up where their tracks were going in the opposite direction to where they were heading last night, but we began following up and were going along nicely in the heart of our reserve while Shaddy watched a herd of buffalos moving into Kruger in the north-eastern corner...i wandered if the lions were going there, but surely it was too far.

We were making steady progress with the tracks as they walked on the road, but then Shaddy broke the bad news to me...my lions were standing watching the buffalos cross into Kruger...and soon they followed!  Despite my best efforts at breaking land-speed records to get there, we missed out and had to settle with impalas drinking, as well as some hippo, giraffe and zebras in the east, so not all that bad after all.

On hearing that there were two leopard at Vyeboom Dam, I angled in that direction, but stopped for a cup of coffee first before moving into the area; part of this stop was indecision that arose because I had no sooner left the east when Shaddy found two wild dogs running about there, but sadly couldn’t relocate, so I went to the leopard instead...then the sighting deteriorated to a 0 out of 5 visual as he went into a rocky outcrop. It was not my morning....then Godfrey called me.

He had bumped into 19 wild dogs while heading to Java – I swung the vehicle around and this time succeeded in not only breaking the speed record, but also in actually arriving at a sighting and seeing animals!  At first it was only a couple of dogs half-heartedly running around chasing impalas, but despite me thinking they would make a kill, they gave up and regrouped before moving towards a waterhole in front of a private camp – luckily we were granted permission to view them there, and enjoyed as they sat at the water before moving off.

This seemed to trigger some good luck as we found ourselves a lone elephant bull drinking in the river as well as a group of buffalo bulls in Argyle Dam before closing down at the lodge.

After a very warm afternoon, I was planning to head along the riverbeds, so off I went to Vyeboom Dam to look for the leopards, but found only impalas and a nice troop of baboons.

Straying from my plan, I headed past Voel Dam and saw more impalas and a hippo before jumping south where we found a group of buffalo bulls in a small pan – but as a herd of buffalos was not all that far away, we carried on and found them drinking in the Nhlaralumi.

A stones throw away we had two rhinos, and a little further along the riverbed we also had a nice herd of elephants that occupied us for some time.


I was about to close for drinks when Remember from Kings radioed to tell me that he had a leopard with a kill for me, and as I wasn't all that far away, I headed straight over, but it has to rate as my worst leopard sighting of 2013 so far!  Umfana was fast asleep in the worst of trees, showing us his bum through so many branches that not even I took a photo!  Oh well, at least its spots.

We had a wonderful sundowner before heading back to the lodge, seeing our young hyenas at the den, but nothing else – so at least the day ended better than it started, an mybe my curse was only temporary this time?


  1. Seems to be a case of win some, lose some, Chad. Would the blue and orange bird be some kind of a Roller and was that a butterfly he was snatching at?

  2. So is one of the Sohebele males missing? There seem to be only two? Did any of the white lions survive?