Thursday, April 14, 2016

On Safari With Gert 13 April 2016

13 April 2016

We set out early again this morning and were very lucky first up to find the same 3 male Cheetah as yesterday morning come walking down the road towards us, about 5 kilometers out of camp! They were still scent marking along the way, but also appeared to be on the hunt. We followed them for a short distance before they went off the road and disappeared in the tall grass - a great start to the day!

Next up we came across a large Elephant breeding herd drinking at a nearby waterhole. There were probably about 80 animals of various ages, including a very young calf of only a few months old! It was suckling from the mother while she was drinking from the reservoir that feeds the waterhole.

We then went on to see how things had developed at yesterday's Leopard sighting where it had killed an Impala. On arrival we found a lioness lying in the open; she had apparently stolen the kill and was keeping a close eye on the Leopard, who was hiding high up in the same tree under which it lay with the kill yesterday! Every time it moved or attempted to get down the lioness would make her presence known and the unfortunate leopard would give up and attempt to get comfortable in the branches again! One way to learn; next time it makes a kill it will probably take it up a tree instead! Shortly after leaving here we found an African Harrier-Hawk flying from tree to tree, hanging upside down to investigate the insides of any tree cavities it found, to the obvious discomfort of some Lilac-breasted Rollers - a hole-nesting species..

After breakfast we stopped off at a nearby dam where we found a good variety of game including a large Elephant bull having a mud bath, Zebras drinking and some young male Waterbuck practicing their fighting skills. While parked here, a Bateleur had spotted a Blacksmith Lapwing eating something on the ground and swooped down to take whatever was left of it, to the dismay of the Lapwing which ineffectually kept dive-bombing it!

After some siesta time back at camp we went out again for a late afternoon drive.

First up we found some very playful young Vervet Monkeys in a tree very close to the road and we observed their antics for a while. Then we encountered a huge Elephant bull and very impressive tusker! He was also in musth and walking purposefully parallel to the road, stopping occasionally to feed. At some point he crossed the road in front of us and then only did we realize just how big he really is!

We followed him for a while as it is not everyday you see such a magnificent specimen!

At a nearby waterhole we found some quite active Hippos play-fighting in the water and getting ready to emerge for a night of grazing.

Then it was back to camp to top off another fantastic day on Safari.

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