Wednesday, November 4, 2015

On Safari With Gert 3 November 2015

3 November 2015

An overcast morning, today was a welcome change from the heat of the preceding few days. however, a strong wind soon started up which often makes for rather tough game viewing conditions.

It was a good day for the large herbivores as first up we had a beautiful sighting of a breeding herd of elephant with a few youngsters crossing the road in front of our vehicle. The strong mother instincts and social bonds plain to see as the older females put themselves between the vehicle and the calves when crossing the road, making sure they stay well protected.

We also had very good sightings of 2 towers of Giraffe, one of 6 individuals and the other of 5. In the latter group was an old male courting a female, relentlessly following her around testing her readiness to mate, with no luck as she played very hard to get walking from tree to tree browsing while leading the male around.

The highlight of the day was one of our many White Rhino sightings; we encountered a small family group of 4 consisting of 1 adult male, an adult female and 2 calves of different ages. They crossed the road some distance in front of us and then grazed right on the edge of the road, affording us some excellent views.

Towards the end of our drive we were reminded of the elusive nature of Leopard as we spotted one on the move, about 30 meters off the road. I hit the brakes and we turned around to try spot it again, but to no avail. It must not have felt like being seen as it almost immediately went into hiding, illustrating that if a leopard doesn't want to be seen by us, it won't!

It was again a good day for birding with the raptors especially active. We had, amongst others; a hovering Brown Snake Eagle which swooped down on its prey,  a Bataleur perched low down in a tree, a Martial Eagle showing off its 2,5m wingspan, as well as a family of Tawny Eagle consisting of 2 adults and a juvenile.

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