Wednesday, 6 March 2013

5th March - Back to normal!

Rockfig Jnr staring through the grass
 Morning Drive

(Andrea, Robin, Shadrack & Petros)

Elephant (Breeding Herd) / Karans – Old Closed Road
Elephant (Breeding Herd) / Scholtz – Zebrawood Pan Road
Elephant (Kambaku) / Peru – Peru Airstrip
Elephant (Kambaku) / Mbali – Western Cutline
Leopard (Xiviti) / Peru – Peru Dam
Leopard (Rockfig Jnr) / Kings – Little Ridge

Afternoon Drive
(Andrea, Robin, Shadrack, Petros & Herold)

Rhino (x 1 male)
Rhino (x 1 male)
Leopard (x 1 male & x 1 female) / Argyle – Lovers Leap
Elephant (breeding herd) / Peru – Peru Entrance
Elephant (breeding herd) / Peru – Phiva Plains
Elephant (breeding herd) / Mbali – Aardvark Road
Elephant (breeding herd) / Peru – Sohebele Plains
Buffalo (2 Daghaboys) / Karans – Moeniejag Crossing
Buffalo (small breeding herd) / Argyle – Lovers Leap

After a few really quiet days, it is fantastic to have things pick up again. I am not sure if it is because Herold and Diff are back and have brought the Mgiba Magic we rely on so much? Or if it is the change in the weather but we awoke to soft rain falling and to be honest, my first thought was “Oh dear!” It wasn’t long however, that we found a wonderfully relaxed elephant herd enjoying the cool morning air. The herd was being followed by a huge bull elephant in musth who certainly gave us a bit of a show! We spent a good part of the morning with the elephant, and although photos were few due to the rain, it was still a spectacular sighting. The morning continued with some great giraffe and zebra sightings. 

As we approached Vielmetter, the Kings guys found Rockfig Jnr female leopard down on their property. When we arrived, she was weaving through the grass looking for something to catch. She kept changing direction and it became a bit difficult to follow. Suddenly though, she stopped. She paused. She pounced. And moments later emerged from the bushes with a baby steenbuck in her mouth! The steenbuck was still alive and she spent the next while letting it go and chasing the poor thing while the little steenbuck let out little desperate cries. It was a spectacularly horrific scene. It was partly hidden by long grass so the visual on the photos is a little unclear. However, sitting and watching something like that in front of your eyes is a brutal reminder of the harsh reality of nature.

My afternoon plan was to find rhino. As we headed out though, it was the buffalo to make the first appearance, slowly feeding near Lovers Leap. It was an awesome scene with the buffalo and the rock face in the background.

I was pretty determined to find a rhino and headed to an area we are usually able to pick tracks and follow. It was then that Robin found a male rhino himself! I was in a quandary – do I turn around and respond to his rhino or do I carry on and do my own thing and find one myself. I stuck to my gut and carried on! I was starting to feel a little despondent however, as no tracks were turning up and it was getting late. We stopped at a pan to watch some giraffe in the distance and as we were leaving we heard a sneeze behind some bushed. To our delight, a male rhino was peering at us from behind a bush. We sat with him as the sun went down and although he seemed a little nervous in the beginning, he soon relaxed and we had great views.

The other guys managed to find a number of different elephant herds up north, a few more buffalo and Petros also got lucky with two leopards although they quickly moved into a drainage line before anyone else could take a look! En route home we had some awesome owl sightings!

What an evening, seems Timbavati is back to its normal form!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the update, Andrea. I also find it difficult to watch kills!

    Tammy Lee