26 February 2016
After a night of good rains we set out early in fresh, overcast conditions. Our first highlight of the morning came in the form of a very large Elephant breeding herd, about 50 or more, on both sides of the road. Many of the youngsters were very playful and some young males were pushing and shoving each other around playfully in the middle of the road. The herd was also joined by 2 adult males, one of them in full musth. There was also 1 very young baby, perhaps a couple of months old, very well guarded by the some of the females as they crossed the road, making it almost impossible to get a proper view.
The rest of the day belonged to the cats, especially lion, as we had 5 different lion sightings throughout the course of the morning! These consisted of 1male, fast asleep on a distant rock, a pride of which we could see 10 individuals at a waterhole, with 1 of the males drinking when we arrived, another couple of lionesses with cubs at another waterhole, again a distant sighting, as well as a mating pair. The best of our lion sightings was where 2 males were lying about 30 meters off the road, one of them on a open spot. He was being quite lazy, as Lion tend to be, but obviously picked up some appetizing scents, as every now and then he would lift his head to sniff the breeze, showing off his beautiful, full mane; a truly magnificent specimen!
Shortly before our breakfast break at a nearby camp we came across a large traffic jam on a bridge. This normally indicates the presence of the elusive leopard and our luck was in. After waiting for a while for the traffic to clear we could see a Spotted Hyena lying underneath a tree from which an Impala carcass was hanging. After scanning the surrounding terrain for a while we spotted the Leopard, lying a little further back in the shade of a tree on the river bank! Again a fairly distant but open visual.
Afterwards it was time for our own breakfast, overlooking the river, with 2 large buffalo bulls lying in the water, completing our Big 5 for the day!
27 February 2016
We set out early this morning amidst very windy, drizzly and cold conditions, taking our chances, but not expecting to see a great deal in such weather. For the first hour or so this was the case, although we did find a few small Elephant herds and 2 large Buffalo herds hiding in the thickets.
As we decided to turn around for breakfast, we received word of a possible lion sighting a few hundred meters on and sure enough, we found 4 females lying in a sheltered spot on the edge of an open area, lazily watching some Impala in the distance. While we were watching the lions, 2 Wild dogs came running over the hill and down the road behind us! They ran straight past us and around the next corner, only to be followed by 10 more dogs a couple of minutes later! As they reached us, the first 2, which were slightly younger dogs, came back and seemed to have a very happy reunion with the pack, as if they had been temporarily split up and very happy to find each other again!
Great timing for a brilliant sighting to bring the end to 3 great days on Safari, as it was time to return to camp for breakfast and departure!