Tuesday 30, This weeks game drive starts like the last day of last weeks drive, the weather unsure of exactly what it wants to do, one thing for sure no rain. The drive as quiet, yes, impala here there and everywhere plus 3 elephant, that dash across the single pylons road and are gone in a flash, 6 zebra and one wildebeest at natural pan, which is now almost dry, a beautiful sharps grysbok on the cutline with dinidza at four beers and on pride rock road 3 giraffe.
Thursday 31, A change in the weather this morning, much clearer with some very high cirrus about, making for a great sunrise, but it promises to be another hot and muggy day with maybe a thunder storm this evening, lets hope so. The drive this am much better, first up a couple of hyena along the railway line on our way in, after the change we head
down to warthog, finding plenty of impala and 6 members of the jackal family, we continue along the palm loop all the way to the office road, finding only impala on serengeti plains, so across to hide dam along red crested drive, impala and more impala when we turn down saba’s road for hide, plenty of impala around the dam, around hide loop and along kudu loop for sand , where we find more impala, as we do at natural pan and down at big.There are 3 hippo in double and the usual herds of impala all coming into drink. Up to the 4 pylons along the cutline and we head all the way south down to rhino, passing sunset parking impala and 7 zebra, another large herd of impala just before rhino we head along mashatu , at the wallows we enjoy a very good sighting of 19 wildebeest, 13 adults and 6 calves, special. Impala around sable dam as well as on the plains. We are on hyena way when Alastair (60) calls in 6 wild dog on buff plains one just up from nkhonkoni, they are some distance from the road, under a large tree, getting pretty hot now, so not active at all, manage to get a couple of pics. We continue down to hide for our breakfast, watch continueous stream of impala coming into drink from every direction. Then across to the office, flood plains, up mica road, e/e garage and we make for home. Final sighting of the morning 7 magnificent kudu bulls along the fence line just before the control gate.
Friday 02 February 2018. Crystal clear morning when I leave the house around 4,30, the moon sliding down towards the western horizon, but about 8,30 heavy cloud cover moves in and once more we hold thumbs for some good thunder storms with plenty of rain, later this afternoon or tonight. The drive this morning very quiet. The only area I don’t check out is down along pels, but other wise everywhere else and mostly impala, big herds around double, big, hide and rhino, add a kudu bull near nkhonkoni, 2 kudu cows at warthog drinking with a large herd of impala, 3 wildebeest amongst the impala at big and that’s about the lot.
Wednesday 07, The usual heavy overcast with a light breeze to start the morning, looks like it might start pouring down with rain, but of course at the moment that’s not happening, then slowly clears up and turns into another muggy partly overcast day.
On the way in a large troop/band of banded mongoose cross the road ahead of us , after the usual car swop we head first down to warthog, just the odd impala about, then along the river drive for mike’s crossing and onto hyena way for the sable area, pass a very large herd of impala just before we cross under the single pylons. The sable/rhino area pretty quiet this morning so we head up snake alley, through buff plains for nkhonkoni, impala dotted about, at nkhonkoni,there is a heron, 3 spoonbill and 7 yellow billed storks, so across to sand and there are a fair amount of impala coming into drink,
continue down to big, where there are more impala and bump into Lawrence (12) enjoy a cuppa while watching about a dozen white backed vultures and a marabou stork all sitting at the waters edge. Unit 39 call in wild dogs on jackal plains so we take ingwe drive, passing plenty of impala all the way to double and then to the top of jackal plains, they are not that close to the road and we count 7 in all??? same dogs we saw last week on buff plains one, great that they are hanging around on Olifants at the moment. Head down to hide, impala coming into drink, then along mala lane, rwlr and finally up the airstrip.
Thursday 08, One of the clearest mornings we’ve had for sometime, and a cool fresh
breeze from the south. Sadly though not too much to report on the game side, wether it’s the cooler weather or the presences of the pack of wild dog in the area but very few impala about and what ones we see are mostly tucked away in the woodlands. Do find a giraffe near double, 6 wildebeest, 2 being calves east of rhino and another 4 on sable plains, i calf and a small herd of kudu x 2 on the e/e road.
Friday 09, It’s raining when I leave HWE but by the time I get to the control gate it’s stopped and although I get a rainbow while on fungi drive, no more rain. Many more impala about this morning, wildebeest on the 4 pylons, just east of rhino and with them a
large troop of baboon, impala along mashatu and up the single pylons 5 kudu bulls cross the road ahead of me, all with very impressive sets of horns. Buff plains and around nkhonkoni, just the odd impala about, so across to sand and bingo the pack of wild dog
are there, so for the next hour or so enjoy some great viewing. A while ago some one asked about their strange baying call, it was suggested that this was a type of alarm call but what I saw and heard this morning I think it’s their location call, one of the dogs, the alfa female, she’s the one collard, went right up towards the 4 pylons, and suddenly started calling, the rest, showed little interest but after she persisted for awhile they started answering but made no effort to head off in that direction and eventually she returned and after messing about for awhile longer, they all set off in the direction of nkhonkoni and disappeared into the bush. I head down to hide for my breakfast before back to the car park.
Saturday 10, The usual weather pattern, will it won’t it, the won’ts have it at the moment, a frustrating drive this morning, yes the usual impala about at most of the dams, 3
wildebeest at big, taking bateleur drive we find 3 giraffe at the link another 2 on the wall at double dam, and on members way 2 nyala bulls. 2 more giraffe on parallel clearing and the 2 frustrating sightings, we have just picked up fresh lion tracks on hide loop when we hear roaring ahead and are just in time catch the back end of a couple lion disappearing into the bush, we try to pick them up without any luck so we continue our drive down to big then along to double, we decide to head south for rhino down the 4 pylons road, and as we reach the road coming from hide, Morag pulls out a great spot, all of a least 400/ 500m’s, 2 males lying in the shade of a small bush, sorry the pick is blurred but almost at full telly. While we are sitting there watching them Louise (85) calls in lion along the palm loop on sable plains, by the time we get there they too are right down in the shade of the riverine bush, think there were 3 lioness’s and some cubs, we get to see one. As we are leaving a lone wildebeest calf appears out of the bush, searching for mum and the herd and for a moment it looked as though it might wander down right into the arms of the lion, but luck is on his side, they seem to be asleep and he/she trots round to the dam and suddenly gallops off in the direction of the venice cutline, so lion yes but not the greatest.
Sunday 11, Hot sunny day with huge white fluffy clouds floating about, surely some rain tonight, lets hope so. Sent the video of all the wild dog calling to various experts and the general consensus is that it is location calling and note alarm calling.
That’s the lot, you all take care now,
R&T, N&M. 🐘🐘🐘