25 December 2015
The sunset drive went by tonight without a sunset as the sun had been hiding behind clouds most of the day. But the guests were pleased to see their first animals of this safari.
Apart from a buffalo that was walking along the fence line of the lodge, they encountered several other game species on their drive: giraffes, zebras, impalas, waterbuck, kudu and elephants.
26 December 2015
We set off in the morning thinking the thin cloud layer in the sky would dissolve and it would become a lovely warm day. We were wrong. Half an hour into the drive the guests were wrapped up in blankets as if it was winter, but we still enjoyed our drive.
Our first highlight was seeing our first herd of elephants. Little did we know that we parked right next to a fantastic patch of grass to eat. As the elephants came closer to the road they came more and more out of the bushes. They were feeding on grass and branches. Slowly one elephant started feeding next to the truck. Not a care in the world about us watching them, she kept on plucking the grass right next to us. Soon she was joined by two others. The gentle giants were within touching distance and we sat watching them in silence. When the tuft of grass was plucked empty they moved off (and some of us started breathing again). In the end the entire herd crossed and we had a great sighting of these magnificent animals.
Our second highlight was coming across three cheetahs. They were unfortunately walking away from us, but with binoculars we had a good visual. We then lost visual of them as they disappeared behind bushes. But we saw an impala in the general direction of where they are moving. While everyone gave up we decided to hang around and see what happened. And it paid off as suddenly the impala got wind of something and stood alert. Then he bolted. Two cheetahs gave a half-hearted 10 meter chase but the impala was long gone. A missed chance!
Other interesting sightings: kudus, a chameleon, common grey duikers, a hippo, giraffes, waterbucks, more elephants, a white rhino, warthog mummy with two piglets, zebras, impalas, hyena, baboons and two herds of buffalos including a calf so young that it was just able to walk.
27 December 2015
Eager to see lions we set off this morning in the hope to find some. And we were in luck as we came across two male lions eating off a rhino carcass. It was a highlight and a lowlight in one as we were confronted with the horrible truth of rhino poaching. The carcass was clearly a victim of poaching with half its nose hacked off. Its last stance was to provide food for those two nomad lions. As it was quite close to the road we were treated to some excellent lion shots to take pictures.
In the afternoon we sat watching two elephants swim for quite some time. It looked like they were having much fun as it was still hot we would have loved to join them in the "pool". To stay safe though we stayed on the shore in the car. They were using the full length of the dam and came closer and closer to a pod of snoozing hippos. Soon they made some noise to deter the elephants but they didn’t seem to notice or care. Then a few scared ones scattered but most hung on to their spot. The elephants drifted away a bit again which gave the hippos some peace. But not for long as the boisterous elephants were pushing and shoving each other closer and closer to the hippos. So much so that they chased the entire harem in all different directions under loud protest. It was like a tv show!
Other interesting sightings: herds of elephants, very cute hyenas, a distant visual of wild dogs but as they are rare it is always a treat, terrapins on the back of a hippo, steenboks, warthogs, waterbucks, blue wildebeests with babies, lots of zebras, impalas, giraffes, buffalos, kudus, common reedbucks, vervet monkeys, a baby crocodile and baboons.