Tuesday, August 30, 2016

On Safari With Gert From 27 August 2016

27 August 2016

Today we started a new safari with 3 Spanish guests. After checking in and lunch at camp we headed out for an afternoon drive which started off on a high note as just outside the camp gates, we were greeted by 9 very large, old Buffalo Bulls for which we patiently had to wait, as they were in no hurry and took up most of the road! Not long after we encountered a whole herd of Buffalo, a good few hundred strong, also crossing the road, consisting largely of cows and calves of various ages, with some large Bulls around the fringes.

Very shortly before closing time, while heading back to camp we very lucky to find 2 African Wild dogs, trotting down the road, stopping to scent mark along the way and also clearly on the lookout for something to eat. We watched as they sniffed around the entrance of a Warthog burrow and followed them for a short while until they veered off the road on a pathway and disappeared in the tall grass! A great find and perfect way to kick off the safari!

28 August 2016

We packed up at first light this morning and loaded luggage after an early breakfast as today we also moved to a different camp. The first hour or so was fairly quiet, but then we got lucky with a large, solitary bull White Rhino! We watched him graze next to the road for a little while. He then stood, taking in the surroundings, smelling and listening until he was sure that the coast was clear, before crossing the road right in front of us! We could not have asked for a better Rhino sighting to kick-start the day, as these magnificent creatures are becoming harder to find each day.

It turned out to be a day for the males as we also encountered 5 bull Elephant, feeding next to the road and also walking down the road, a couple of really impressive bulls in their midst.

Next up was a lazy male Lion, resting on the edge of a shady spot provided by a pushed-over Acacia tree. It was a fairly distant view, but open and he had his head up for the majority of our time at the sighting, providing a few photo opportunities. We waited around for a bit in the hope that he might get up and look for more shade, however, he eventually rolled over and got comfortable, apparently enjoying the late morning sun and going back to sleep!

After lunch and some siesta time went for a short drive in the late afternoon. Here we were very lucky to spot a beautiful male Leopard, in the act of stalking some Impala! The Leopard was very nervous though and gave up the challenge, walking back into the bush and out of sight, but we still got a brilliant view! The Impala also picked up its scent as they started alarm calling, but they soon relaxed and we eventually moved off. Another very successful day on Safari!

29 August 2016

This morning we left camp at sunrise, hoping to catch some predator action and were not disappointed! The first highlight of the morning was when we came across a lone Spotted Hyena, feeding on the remains of a Buffalo carcass. It tugged and nibbled at various parts of the leftovers, before managing to detach a substantial portion of the spine and carrying it off, allowing the Hooded Vulture which was patiently waiting to move in and feed on the scraps!

Next up we found a beautiful female Leopard in a large Jackalberry tree on the riverbank! She appeared to have fed recently as she was quite full, fast asleep and stomach bulging over the branch she lay on!

We were also lucky enough to witness a young male Lion's inexperienced attempt at hunting Impala, out in the open in broad daylight and hot conditions! The herd of Impala saw it coming from quite a long way off and ran up onto some higher ground to keep an eye on him and make sure they keep their distance!

A stop at a hide overlooking a waterhole afforded us the opportunity to see mating Crocodiles! A very rare sighting and a great way to top off the day!

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