Tuesday, 15 January 2013

13th & 14th Jan - Stormy two days!

Elephant bull having a dust bath


Morning Drive
(Grant, Chad & Andrea)

Elephant (1 Kambaku) / Motswari – Xinatsi Dam Road North
Elephant (1 Kambaku) /  Scholtz – Sholtz Big Dam
Elephant (small breeding herd) / Western Cutline – Moeniejag Crossing
Elephant (breeding herd) / Borneo
Elephant (breeding herd) / Mbali – Windy Way
Buffalo (4 Daghaboys) / Motswari – Xinatsi Dam

Afternoon Drive
(Marka, Chad & Andrea)

Elephant (breeding herd) / Argyle Rd
Elephant (Kambaku) / Argyle Road
Elephant (breeding herd) / Western Cutline
Buffalo (2 Daghaboys) / Motswari – Reception link
Buffalo (Daghaboys) / Motswari – Xinatsi Dam
Leopard (1 female) / Western Cutline


Morning Drive
(Marka, Chad & Andrea)
Rhino (crash of 4)
Elephant (1 Kambaku) / Motswari – Marula Pan
Elephant (breeding herd) / Java/Mbali Road
Elephant (1 Kambaku)  / Western Cutline

Afternoon Drive
(Marka, Chad, Peter & Andrea)

x1 Rhino
Elephant (1 Kambaku) / Western Cutline – Just south of Moeniejag
Elephant (Breeding Herd) / Western Cutline – North of Karan’s Northern Access
Elephant (Breeding Herd) / Vielmetter – Back Nine West
Elephant (Breeding herd) / Umalni - Elloff Road
Lion (2 Ximpoko and 1 female) / Umlani – One Way
Lion (2 Machatons) / Umlani - One Way Link

I apologise for the double blog post but our internet has been down and we make do as we can. So, it seems the minute I go on blog duty the sunshine disappears and the grey clouds and wind take over making photography incredibly challenging. It also makes finding animals difficult, which we found this morning as it was very quiet out there. All 3 of us split off into different directions, each finding a couple of elephant and a few buffalo bulls but other than that the bush was quiet – we except for the sounds of wind rustling through the trees! Chad found tracks of about 6 lions in the eastern section of our area, unfortunately they crossed over the boundary – hopefully they come back this afternoon!

This afternoon was exceptionally quiet – with the wind pumping, animals were skittish and scarce. I headed east, and other than two black backed jackals in the distance, there was nothing but beautiful scenery. The others didn’t have much luck either. I closed down for late drinks at Hide Dam. On the way home, darkness already fallen, Jacky suddenly called out “Ingwe, Ingwe”! A female was on the hunt and we followed her for a while until she saw some impala. We switched off the spot and waited in anticipation. Unfortunately, the impala got wind if her and scurried off. We thought we had lost her completely but as we were pulling out, we found her again and followed for a little while more. She was moving pretty fast so I didn’t get any shots but considering how scarce leopards have been this past week – I didn’t care, it was awesome even getting a glimpse. As we continued on, we found a breeding herd of elephant along the road, with Chad also calling in elephant it was just our luck that after a quiet afternoon, the ellies only popped out when we could no longer view them!

We can’t complain – it has been dry out here and we need the rain. However, today it poured! This morning Chad had stayed up north, while Marka and I both headed south. Marka found a herd of elephant on Java while I tried the tar road with great sightings of giraffe and wildebeest. Sinut from Kings was with the four rhino that have been hanging around so both myself and Marka headed there to take a look. It was a difficult access in as the rhino had maneuvered themselves along a steep drainage line. I came in from the eastern side and luckily popped out in an open clearing where the rhino were headed. Despite the rain, it was a lovely sighting – albeit no picture, as my camera was safely tucked into its dry-bag! Marka managed to find a sheltered spot for morning coffee while my guests preferred to head back home. We were already quite far south so took the most direct route home to minimize time in the rain!

Late morning cleared nicely, the sun even popped out! But, as we all climbed into the vehicle for afternoon drive, the heavens opened! Lion had been seen down on Umlani and it was a case of now or never. Prepared with ponchos, we started the long trek down south. Chad found a small herd of elephant on the way, and I found another a little further south. We had a great sighting of youngsters rolling around on their back in the mud – elephants are always so entertaining to watch!   

 By the time we all eventually got down to Umlani, we were already running out of game drive time! The two Ximpoko males were there with one female. They had killed a young buffalo and while the one male was feeding the other two were alternating between mating and resting up. At least we had traveled all the way down there for a good sighting! Being so far down south, we all traded in a drinks stop for the lion, but did mean we had to rush a bit to get home and miss the rain!


  1. Hi Andrea

    Good photos, even though you've had wet weather, love the different view points, love the Ellies and the Giraffes nobbly knees.
    Hope rain stops soon.


  2. Short of Leopard sightings, oops looks like we had them all visit when we were there, how lucky are we. Hope they come out to play soon and the rain stops. Take care. Val