Tuesday 10, Not sure what the weather wanted to do this morning, cold with heavy overcast then it looked like it was about to clear then a low mist/fog moved in and looks
like we were going to have a downpour and finally by mid morning it had cleared away leaving just some high cirrus cloud, fortunately absolutely no wind. Olifants had had a spit and a spot during the night though. Game wise not a great deal to report, even the impala were few and far between, mostly in small herds but did find one large one along red crested drive. Two elephant bulls on buff plains two, another two on tambothi link, close to two trees and a herd on red crested drive at the mongoose turn off for hide and a couple of kudu cows on the e/e road on my way out. The beautiful green wood-hoopoe feeding on our aloes in front of our house.
Wednesday 11, A crystal clear morning when we leave HWE but as we get closer to Olifants a heavy ground mist moves in and for awhile we can bearly see more than about 10 metres from the landy. We turn right at the sable crossing and then left up the
single pylons, a small herd of impala loom out of the mist and further on first one then another troop of baboon appear down the pylons, right along hyena way, spot the odd impala, we cross at the rubbing post and make sable dam, all quiet so round the back road past the rubbing post and along mashatu drive for rhino, at rhino pan a small herd of impala and a couple of kudu, we take zebra drive and at the cross roads turn right onto wildebeest drive for sand dam, at wildebeest clearing we decide to cut back towards zebra once more and we’ve only gone a few metres when Morag spots a lioness running through the grass, calling all the while, she disappears into the woodland and
with the thick fog/mist we immediately lose her, so we continue onto zebra drive then through buff plains 3 and then 2 and by now the fog has lifted some what, just some impala near nkhonkoni dam, onto sand dam and at the T junction with nyoga road we find two zebra, looking a bit apprehensive looking back in the direction of wildebeest plains so we decide to go have another look see, passed sand, all quiet, then onto
wildebeest drive for rhino and coming onto wildebeest clearing, we find 3 hyena lying quietly looking in the direction of where we saw the lioness earlier and this time round we find 7 lion, the 2 mature lioness’s from the mashatu pride? plus 5 sub adults and they have a zebra kill tucked under a bush. Unfortunately as we arrived they all got up and ran off and it was only after some while that they slowly drifted back closer to the kill, in fact only one of the elder lioness stayed near the kill and it was noticeable that when the next car came in, the same thing occurred, they all dashed off and as the next, I think 5 in all cars arrived they stayed on the edge of the woodland. It seems pretty obvious that these lion are being hassled else where. Well thats as far as we got and as the fog lifted and the light improved we had some good viewing albeit most of the lion some distance away, the 3 hyena wandered around at a distance, the lioness’s keeping an eye on them as they did the jackal and a giraffe came along to see what all the fuss was about.
On the way home many more impala and just some great puffy white clouds about.
Thursday 12, Completely overcast which does not start to clear till around midday, so a
pretty cool morning, fortunately no wind. General game very slow this morning, even
the impala are few and far between, mostly in the woodland. Some interesting sighting
of hyena though, when I arrived at yesterdays zebra kill, the carcass had been drag away closer to the woodland and although there was no sign of the lion, there were a couple of hyena, three jackal and of course just a mass of vulture about. Checked out sand, nkhonkoni, sable on the off chance they may have gone to drink no luck but as I came into rhino, two hyena came trotting in from the direction of the kill, drank, messed about in the water for a bit before heading back. I continue my drive up the 4 pylons then down to big and onto double, where I stop off for my breakfast, and as I mentioned just the odd impala and a tawny eagle on the nest on kudu loop, home.
Friday 13, A absolutely stunning morning, crystal clear, icy cold and dead still, this is the kind of weather that makes the low veld so fantastic, lets hope we’ve seen the last of the miz days. Sadly though on the game side, very quiet, the usual spread of impala, wherever I go plus a couple of troops of baboon and one of monkeys along pels, most of them up the tree tops hoping to catch the first warming rays of the sun and on the top of pels pass a couple of kudu bulls. That makes up the morning drive.
Saturday 14, Another perfect winters morning but once more a very quiet morning drive, at one point we thought we might get lucky, while stopped at the top red crested drive under the single pylons we heard lion calling off towards the 4 pylons but as you well know hearing lions and finding them is a very different story and in spite of a careful search, around the top of jackal plains, no luck. We then move on to Two Trees where Derik And Janine (1) join us for a delicious bereakfast and most enjoyable morning. We head for home along the klaserie cutline, passing impala here and there then along the venice cutline for the railway line road, here we find a herd of 8 wildebeest and a little further on 3 elephant bulls, making their way in the direction of sable dams and that ends our drive.
Sunday 15, The wonderful winter days didn’t last long, a front comes through during the night, bringing with it cold overcast weather and a strong gusty wind, making it very unpleasant. Mixed week, busy to start and then very quiet, see what next week brings. You all take care now.