Friday, 1 March 2013

28th February - A Fantastic End to February

Nthombi up a Leadwood tree
Morning Drive

(Shadrack & Andrea)

Elephant (Kambaku) / Motswari – Xinatsi Dam Northern Access
Elephant (Kambaku) / Peru – Pan Road
Elephant (Breeding Herd) / Peru – Pan Road
Elephant (Breeding Herd) / Vielmetter – Elephant Dam Road
Elephant (Breeding Herd) / Peru – Hippo Rocky Road
Leopard (Nthombi) / Vielmetter – Nkoro Road
Buffalo (5 Daghaboys) / Karans – Cutline

Afternoon Drive
(Shadrack & Andrea)

Rhino (x 1 male, x 3 females)
Elephant (Breeding Herd) / Peru – Hippo Rocky Road
Elephant (Breeding Herd) / Jaydee – Albert Viemetter Cutline
Elephant (Breeding Herd) / Karans – Banzu’s post
Buffalo (1 Daghaboy) / Jaydee – Nkombe Pan

So the morning plan was to take a gentle amble, try find some zebra and giraffe and have a nice, long, relaxed coffee break. Well, as is normal with me, nothing ever goes according to plan! We started out all right with a large male elephant in our path who then (rather cheekily I might add) marched right next to the car, eyed with one beady eye, and promptly marched off! We then headed along with a couple of great birds until landing on Java airstrip with beautiful herds of wildebeest, zebra and impala. It was at this moment that a leopard was called in further south. 

This leopard however, was lying up in a leadwood tree and that was me sold. I have not seen a leopard up in a tree in quite some time so I was just too excited to get there. On the way though, we bumped into a herd of ellies close by. Explaining to my guests that we would return, we pushed on to find Nthombi lying beautifully in a Leadwood tree. We got there just in time though, because she soon climbed down and was off into the thickest bush imaginable, where we then met up with the herd of elephant . We tried to stay with her, while weaving through elephant but finally maneuvering through a steep drainage like, we got stuck. And, when I mean stuck, I mean properly not going anywhere stuck. By this point, the herd of elephant were now surrounding the car. It was all rather frustrating and exciting at the same time. Thankfully Diff from Simbavati was close by and was able to tow us out – all in a days work for a ranger! We still got to spend a little more time with the elephant herd before deciding that after all the morning’s excitement, we deserved a large breakfast!

The plan for the afternoon was to find rhino, and for a change my plan actually worked. I wanted to head down to the area they had last been seen, hope to pick up some tracks and take it from there. On the way to the area, a beautiful herd of Waterbuck stood out in the open for us! We then bumped into a herd of ellies where a young male gave us quite a show! We eventually got to the area where the rhino had last been seen and Jacky and I headed in on foot to relocate. We knew they were close and so I returned to fetch the car and 5 minutes later we were watching the four beautiful beasts in the afternoon glow! After a relaxed drinks break, we ambled back to camp spotting a tiny White-faced owl en route home.

A pretty successful day out in the  bush,


  1. Hi Chad,
    Please can you tell me, where does Makapezi fit in to the "leoperd chain" featured on the right hand side of the blog?

    1. Hi there :)

      I must apologise for not having updated that leopard list since starting the blog - tried to do too much for one person!!!

      Makepisi wouldnt actually fit anywhere on there, besides having Machaton male as his father...his mother is a leopard called Klakisa female, but we almost never see her, very very skittish female - no idea where she is even from! Makepisi and his brother, Xindzuti, were born in October 2010 and we still see both of them from time to time...

      hope that helps

  2. Thanks Andrea for the great update... Saw you guys are finally back on track, thanks to you :-)...

    Great pictures of Nthombi in the tree, and all the others are also nice.
    I just love how you guys get stuck so often these days. Normally that is Chad's speciality!