Sunday, 29 July 2012

29 July - Copious Cats & Airborne Impala

Photo of the day
 Morning Drive
(Grant & Andrea)

Lion (x 2 males) / Scholtz - Scholtz River Road
Leopard (Mbali and Machaton Male) / Mbali - Buffalo Kill
Elephant (Breeding Herd) / Vielmeter - Elephant Dam
Elephant (1 Kambaku) / Scholtz - Scholtz River Road

Afternoon Drive
(Grant, Petros, Shadrack & Andrea)

Elephant (3 Kambaku) / Motswari - Hanger Road
Leopard (Shindzuti male) / Peru - Piva Plains
Leopard (Makepisi Male) / Peru - Woza Woza Cutline Junction with Pan Road
Lion (2 Males) / Scholtz - Scholtz River Road

While Chad is down in CT for the book, it's Andrea back on blog! With last night's drive ending with lion calls but no lion, it was a huge relief all round that two were found on Scholtz this morning. These cats have certainly been giving us the run around recently, and even today had chosen a rather difficult spot for us to view! However, it was great to see the two of them, full-bellied and healthy. Where the female that they had been mating with a few days ago is, we don't know. 

We sat with them for a good part of the morning, however, lions being lions, they gave us only the occasional glance and groom before lying flat cat again. Heading out of the area for a drinks stop we came across a bull elephant moving at quite a speed - he clearly did not want to be seen and quickly crossed the riverbed away from us. As we made our way down to Java Dam for drinks, a herd of impala took fright and gave us quite a performance of jumping, stotting and flying.

I wanted to head back via Giraffe Kill/Mbali RIver Road in hopes of finding leopard and just as well I did, as I neared Lion Pan,one of the Simbavati guys called in Mbali female and Machaton Male. They were mating again! I rushed on, however the sighting was a very difficult one as they kept ducking down into very thick Termanalia bush - to be fair we were interrupting their moment.

The only glimpse of Machaton Male

Mbali looking for Machaton male

 With guests only for one drive, the pressure was on. Drive started well with 3 Kambaku very close to camp. They were very relaxed, slowly feeding north parallel to the airstrip. After some time at Argyle Dam with hippos, crocs and an African Jacana we heading towards Piva Plain wanting to help Grant who had found drag marks close by.

As we moved onto the plains, we found Shindzuti male leopard stalking impala. He was quite relaxed to start with and then decided he had had enough and slunk off into impenetrable mopane thicket. While in the sighting with Shindzuti, Grant found Makepisi male which meant enough leopards all round.

Shindzuti male

Shindzuti eyeing some impala

Shaddy had picked up on the two lions from the morning who were very close to one of the private land owners house which made for a quick but awesome sighting as the two males were back to the buffalo kill they had made. The road back was quiet except for a civet who quickly dashed across the road. Definitely a day for cats!

1 comment:

  1. I have done it! Kept from having a peek at this blog until my usual lunch time drive. Who cares it lunch time started a few minutes early. Thank you, Andrea. The impala action pics are amazing. Sure, we can see Chad's not there. Cats, cats, cats ...