Friday, 11 January 2013

08th and 09th January – All is Well that Ends Well



Photo of the Day
Sohebele Boys make an appearance on my guests' last drive

08th January Morning Drive
(Chad and Herold)
2 x lions (Ximpoko and Mabande males) – Java, Java Dam Rd
2 x lions (Sohebele males) – Karans, Majavi Dam
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Vielmetter, Bluewaxbill Rd

08th January Afternoon Drive
(Chad, Grant, Andrea and Herold)
2 x lions (Ximpoko and Mabande males) – Java, Java Dam Rd
2 x lions (Sohebele males) – Karans, Majavi Dam
1 x rhino
1 x breeding herd of buffalo – Jaydee, Makulu Dam
5 x buffalo bulls – Motswari, Xinatsi Dam
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Vielmetter, Western Cutline
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Java, Buffalo Kill
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Java, Tamboti Link
1 x elephant bull – Motswari, Camp
1 x elephant bull – Java, Leopard Rock Hide

09th January Morning Drive
(Chad, Andrea and Herold)
8 x wild dogs – Jaydee, Makulu Rd
4 x rhinos
1 x rhino
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Mbali, Buffalo Kill Rd
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Java, Confluence Crossing
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Argyle, Argyle Rd
1 x elephant bull – Mbali, Klipgat Crossing
1 x elephant bull – Motswari, Marula Pan
5 x buffalo bulls – Motswari, Northern Access

09th January Afternoon Drive
(Chad, Andrea and Grant)
19 x wild dogs – Jaydee, Makulu Rd
4 x lions (Unknown lioness and three young males) – Borneo, Abercrombie Dam
1x leopard (skittish female) – Mbali, White Syringa
1 x rhino
1 x breeding herd of buffalo – Borneo, Mananga Cutline
1 x elephant bull – Motswari, Marula Pan
1 x elephant bull – Motswari, Giraffe Pan

Daily Synopsis


I should just have a standard line apologising for the delay in posting blogs these days!  And also apologies for the double post, but my camera stayed at the lodge on two of the four drives, so not really enough material for two posts!  But you will all be delighted to know that Andrea will be taking over the blogging duties for a while, and I trust that you will enjoy all of her excellent stories and images!

As for my last couple of days, well they started out fine – in the north on the first morning we bumbled along looking for the wild dogs, but came across impalas, giraffes and zebras instead.  Herold luckily had more luck and soon picked up Ximpoko and Mabande male lions near Java Dam – the third different group of lions in that area in the last three days!  As I heard that the wild dogs were again in an inaccessible area, I headed in Herold’s direction and made it just in time to actually see one lion awake before he flopped over on his side and didn’t stir the rest of the sighting!













Making my way south to see some elephants, we didn’t see too much, but that might just have been the lack of sleep talking as most of my crew were catching up on what we missed out on last night!  While with the elephants, Marka made my day by radioing in the two Sohebele male lions at Majvai Dam, the same place we went searching for them yesterday, and judging by their bellies, they had managed to make a kill in the Kruger but thankfully had returned.  I headed there passing some warthogs, zebras and giraffes as we went.










The lions were much more awake and active than our other two friends and gave a good performance, even moving around from one shady spot to another before we parted company and headed back to the lodge.



 








In the afternoon I was driving Mrs Geiger and her grandchildren, and we took it easy, with our main intention being to go see the big male lions after sunset, hoping they would roar for us.  The drive was a chilled affair, and we went to Hide Dam to begin with where we had a herd of elephants, although they were highly mobile and not being the most obliging, neither was the lone male rhino we also managed to relocate in the area, but we still got to see them.

After a wonderful drink stop and a couple more elephant sightings, we headed to the lions that were now awake and grooming, but soon flopped back to sleep.  Knowing them though, I knew it wouldn’t be long, so we sat it out, and soon enough Ximpoko sat up and began roaring about 7-8m from us – what an amazing sound!!! 

Mrs Geiger asked if we could sit and wait for one more roar, and about 13 minutes later he yet again obliged and we headed back to camp delighted with out experience.



video




The next morning was also nice and relaxing and we headed to the Nhlaralumi, but it was quiet until we came across a breeding herd of elephants moving towards a large pool in the riverbed, so we jumped ahead and waited for them, but they had other ideas and stopped in a shady spot some distance away – luckily a large elephant bull in musthe did come and join us – there was a moment when we all had to jump back into the Land Rover when he came about 15m from us, but he was surprisingly relaxed and soon moved off to a nearby mudwallow where we sat and watching him splashing mud on himself about 10m from us!  I was quite surprised that we didn’t end up covered in mud!












Carrying on, we went to go and see some wild dogs that were resting along the bank of the Nhlaralumi, but sadly they were not in the mood for doing much, but it was still great to see them.









We got surprised with a lovely rhino wallowing in a small dam on the way home, and in the afternoon when I picked up my guests at Java Airstrip, we passed the dam and found him sleeping in the shade nearby as the temperatures reached 38 in the shade!!!







My afternoon was not an overly successful one, but it included wild dogs, so I cant complain!  We tried the same stretch of the Nhlaralumi that we had earlier, but we found very little besides impalas and steenbuck.  Passing the area where the dogs had been, we saw them running around on the bank before settling again – as we wanted to watch them hunt, we moved on to have a drink before going to check on them later, as no one else was visiting them.  They had sadly moved, but luckily they can sometimes be noisy, and the scattered clusters of baby impalas told of the presence of wild dogs hunting in the area, and a few yelps alerted me to the direction I needed to check, and luckily we managed to find them finishing off an impala before we left them and headed back to the lodge for a lovely dinner on the deck with a cooling light breeze offering some reprise from the excessive heat today!

So that is that, I trust you will enjoy Andrea’s blogging over the next few days until I return...until then, take care!

Cheers
Chad



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