Friday, 1 March 2013

26th and 27th February - True Lowveld Luck!

Nthombi's boy! 

Morning Drive
(Shadrack, Chad & Andrea)

Wild Dog / Peru – Inkwazi Access
Leopard (Rockfig Jnr) / Vielmetter – Palm Crossing
Elephant (1 solitary bull)/ Jaydee – Tshwala Road

Afternoon Drive
(Shadrack & Andrea)

Elephant (Breeding Herd) / Motswari – Southern Access
Elephant (Kambaku) / Motswari – Airsrtip
Elephant (Breeding Herd) / Karans – Top Road East
Buffalo (Breeding Herd) / Scholtz – Mananga Cutline

Morning Drive
(Shadrack & Andrea)

x1 male rhino
Elephant (Breeding Herd) / Mbali – Windy Way
Leopard (Nthombi’s youn gmale) / Vielmetter – Entrance Road
Lion (x1 Mabande male and x1 female) / Kings – Cheetah Plain

Afternoon Drive
(Shadrack & Andrea)

x1 male rhino
Elephant (Breeding Herd) / Vielmetter – Entrance Dam
Elephant (Breeding Herd) / Kings – Cheetah Plains
Elephant (Breeding Herd) / Kings – Eagle Owl Plains
Lion (2) / Kings – Cheetah Plains
Leopard (Nthombi’s boy) / Vielmetter – Entrance Road
Buffalo (1 Daghaboy) / Peru – Madach Pan
Buffalo (5 Daghaboys) / Karans – Western Cutline

Hello everyone, Andrea back on blog duty...apologies for another double blog but poor Chad has been a little under the weather and between the two of us, we are playing catch up here - hop eyou enjoy nonetheless. 

The morning started off exceptionally quiet and while Chad got lucky with wild dog on the one side of the reserve, Shadrack and I were on the other. I managed to find a bull elephant who was not being too compliant and pushed off into thick bush. After some exciting river crossings and a drinks break, Shadrack found Rockfig Jnr and we were able to view her nicely walking down the road before having to head back to the lodge for an early check out.

The afternoon started off well with a breeding herd of elephant close to camp thanks to Shadrack’s master tracking skills! We sat with them for ages, enjoying as they slowly fed through the mopane trees. Marka had gone east and found a breeding herd of buffalo – I was delighted as I haven’t seen a good herd in absolute ages. I knew it was quite a drive down there but having convinced myself it was worth it, off we sped southwards. Unfortunately when we got there, we only got the tail end as they wandered off into thick bush, hopefully they return soon. We enjoyed an exceptional sunset and sunrise and even sat with another herd of elephant in the moonlight (no spotlight of course!). It was a beautiful evening!

Wow, what a morning! It began with a bang when we disturbed a hippo out of the water slowly making his way back to the dam after his nighttime endevours and it only got better from there… In the beautiful glow of morning light a male rhino slowly strolled out in the open.  We followed behind him as he made is way through the riverbed and began feeding on the other side. It was such a spectacular scene watching this prehistoric looking animals slowly munching through fresh grass. Shadrack made his way to see the rhino as well and we moved on, only to find a breeding herd of elephant close by. Unfortunately we could not off road there due to recent rains so had to watch them from the road – hopefully we find some more this afternoon.

As we were leaving the elephant, Marka found Nthombi leopard’s cub so we missioned down south to take a look at him, finding one hyena along the way! The young male leopard had a civet kill up in a tree…rather bizarre and unfortunately was hiding in some very thick grass, so all we could see was the occasional spot as he adjusted positions. The guys down south found lion on Kings so giving up on the one cat we headed to see the others. The were kindly out in the open for us and while the female lay flat cat, the male at least got up a little and walked around. Time was running out for the morning and so we rushed back up north to camp…a very busy morning! With new guests joining us this afternoon, hopefully the luck continues.

So…the luck did continue. Knowing Nthombi’s boy would still be in the area, we planned to head that way! There was some great general game on the way down, as well as a lone buffalo bull lazily resting up in a small pan. We even got to watch the terrapins feeding off the ticks on the buffalo’s back! En route down to the leopard, Shadrack found a herd of elephant as well which we were able to sit with for a short while before moving into the leopard sighting. Unlike this morning, he was out in the open and posing for us beautifully…he really is just such a gorgeous cat.

Kings camp kindly invited us down to see the lion again. We managed to see them just as they were about to head off on their nightly adventure. They graced us with that iconic call of the bush – roars that shake the land rover they are so powerful! Being as far down south as Kings it is only typical that is was a bit of a rush to get back up to camp!

See you all tomorrow,


  1. ntombi's boy is one hell of a leopard but of course he would be with such a special mother

  2. Sheila in Hove1 March 2013 at 09:41

    Thanks Andrea for the detail of the terrapins eating the ticks off the buffaloes backs whilst the buffs were lazing in the water. I find that amazing, but quite practical and opportunistic.