Monday, January 19, 2015

On Safari With Karen From 16 January 2015

16 January 2015

Today was the first day of this safari and we started with an afternoon drive. Our first highlight of this drive was a pair of mating lions. We had gotten a tip from a fellow guide who was on his way out when we just arrived at the gate and so we made our way to the spot. Arriving on the scene we saw the cars, but a few ram impalas were crossing the road in front of us.  The male was sitting up, so he was quickly spotted next to the bush, but the impalas were oblivious. We waited around a little and got to be the lucky witnesses of lions mating. She was all flirty rolling over before the male mounted her and retracted with a big snarl. Just then the impalas noticed the lions just 10 meters away and all started alarm calling.

Our second highlight was a group of seven giraffes that were feeding on the bushes next to the road. Hanging around out in the open this was a great photo opportunity!

Other animals seen: two reedbucks fighting, hamerkop, violet backed starling, more giraffes with one of them lying down, impala herd with older babies, red crested korhaan, zebras, wildebeest, kudus, black bellied bustard, buffalos, hippos, yellow billed kite, little bee eater, elephant and guineafowls.

17 January 2015

The rain did not stop this morning when we set off at the crack of dawn for our morning drive. Our first highlight of today was a visit to the hide at Lake Panic. It was so nice and tranquil like it was almost magical. The guests enjoyed all the birds species flying around, or sitting on the water's edge as well as the crocodile that was pretending to be just a log.

To choose our second highlight of today is a difficult one as we had many good sightings. As a group we decided to go for the leopard sighting. At first he was sitting up in a tree all relaxed and it looked like he had all the leisure time in the world. He climbed up a bit to lie down on a different branch and then decided to come down for a little stroll. We spend the next two hours anticipating where he would go next, being right a couple of times. It resulting in sightings of him close to the road, then nothing for a bit. Suddenly we saw him walking again and then scent marking a bush, and disappear in the thick bush. Suddenly he was crossing the road in front of us and scent marking a patch of grass right next to the road on the other side (unfortunately half obscured by other vehicles). All in all a great sighting, although he didn't come all the way down to Lake Panic while we were watching.

Other animals seen: waterbucks, impalas, a lone hyena standing in the middle of the road with a piece of meat in its mouth, double-banded sandgrouses, kudu bulls as well as females, an elephant herd, white rhinos, lilac breasted roller and its cousin the European roller, hinged tortoises, ears and nostrils of hippos, bateleurs, baboons, leopard tortoise, a pair of hawk eagles, two male lions hiding in a bush but close to the road, giraffes, tawny eagle, white-backed and hooded vultures, dung beetle rolling a dung ball, zebras, wildebeest, malachite kingfisher, a pied kingfisher fishing but missed, woodlands kingfisher, fish eagle, green-backed heron, african jacanas, and last but not least a lone elephant bull splashing himself (and us) with mud. The sunset game drive added sightings of a scrub hare and a large herd of buffalos.

18 January 2015

On our last day we set off bright and early again, and even though it was overcast and coldish, at least this time it was dry. Our first highlight was a sighting of dwarf mongoose. First of all because it was one of the new animals we saw today and hadn't seen before. Secondly because when we stopped, a couple of brave ones came to investigate our vehicle and others were playing in the middle of the road in front of us. It was a joy to watch!

Then for our second highlight we had to choose between an amazing white rhino sighting or, our victor of being second highlight, our even better elephant sighting. This bull was feeding close to the road and came really close to the car. He had his eye on us but was quiet relaxed and as we didn't bother him, he didn't bother us. We had a slight breath taking moment when he smashed a tree right next to us, but luckily he decided to smash it sideways instead of right on top of us. We did get some great footage!

Other animals seen: herd of buffalo, zebras, heard but did not see a leopard, giraffe, vervet monkeys, multiple white rhinos, buffalo bulls crossing in front, impalas, a common grey duiker, hippos and a wide assortment of colourful birds.

More coming soon!

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