Wednesday, August 10, 2016

On Safari With Gert From 4 August 2016

4 August 2016

This afternoon we started a new Safari with 4 guests. After lunch we headed out on an afternoon Game drive to explore the area.

t started off very well, with a stop at a waterhole where a herd of approximately 50 Elephants were drinking and some of them playing in the water; while on a stretch of shoreline a pod of Hippos were sunning themselves, trying not to pay much attention to the all the elephant activity!

We then encountered another herd of elephants, if anything even larger than the first, with many calves of various ages in their midst! They were leisurely grazing, slowly making their way towards the road and eventually crossed not very far from us, a wonderful experience to spend such quality time with these magnificent creatures!

We also spend some time at a nearby Hyena den, where we saw 3 adults and 5 cubs from 2 litters. There was fair amount of activity and excitement, as we could hear the adults feeding, although we couldn't see on what, but could hear the bones crunching. The cubs were very playful and ran back and forth between the den and the adults, while 2 were very curious around the den entrance, playing and exploring! A great afternoon drive to start off the safari!

5 August 2016

We set out on our morning drive after an early breakfast and were soon rewarded when we encountered a huge herd of a few hundred Buffalo grazing close to the road. There were quite a few young calves, some which could not have been more than 2 months old - slightly out of season, however, we also had rain out of season, so maybe that was just good planning on their part! We were also intrigued to see one of the Buffalo, an adult female, with leucism, a higher than usual amount of white pigmentation - she looked grey from a distance, but was actually covered in white spots, quite a unique individual!

We had good general game sightings throughout the rest of the morning including magnificent Kudu bulls, Zebra and Blue Wildebeest, some large Elephant bulls and fighting Impala.

We were also lucky enough to encounter many Giraffe, which turned out to be a crowd favorite! The first was a lone adult bull on the move parallel to the road, but the highlight was probably the second group we found, consisting of 10 individuals, mostly males of different ages.

After lunch and some relaxing time back at camp we set out again for a late afternoon drive during which we were treated to an Elephant display of power, as we watched some young bulls push over a tree. We also found a pair of Klipspringer, beautifully silhouetted against the late afternoon sky.

The highlight of the afternoon was at the Hyena den where we saw 3 of the cubs out and were also reminded of how dangerous these creatures can be as one of the large females yawned a few times, displaying the powerful jaws and very impressive set of teeth!

6 August 2016

Leaving early after breakfast, we had a fairly quiet first hour or so, until it started warming up slightly. We had a bit of luck, with 3 lion sightings throughout the course of the morning, although the first was a very difficult visual of a female, which might have had cubs, but had moved into thick cover by that time.

The second of our lion sightings was the clearest, on a riverbank, where they had been feeding off a hippo carcass, but had also moved into the shade as the day was starting to warm up significantly!

The third sighting was in a riverbed, where we saw 4 females; part of a larger pride which had just killed and finished an Impala. They were lying down in a shady spot in the riverbed, the face of one of the females still covered in blood!

One of the other highlights of the day was when we encountered a magnificent Sable Antelope bull close to a waterhole. He was standing close to the road and overlooking the drainage line leading into the waterhole, bending down occasionally to graze and not realizing what the fuss was about, as he attracted a fair amount of attention from visitors! A rare and quality sighting of this majestic antelope!

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