Monday 18, A completely cloudless morning to start the week, after some wonderful rain over the last week/weekend , most areas receiving just over a 100mms some a great deal more. As I mentioned we were into the Park for most of last week with Brian and Claire, and enjoyed some good sightings. On our way in along the Orpen road, not far from the first gate we spot a pack of wild dog running along the Ngala Game Reserve fence line,
nice start to our trip. Stayed at Biyamiti Bushveld Camp, lovely spot. Not going to bore you with which routes we took etc so, we saw good general game, plenty of elephant, very few buffalo, a poor view of 3 lion, another pack of wild dogs, 2 x leopards, and 2 x cheetah and a honey badger dashed across the road ahead of us, added to that we clocked up 120 birds in the process. A most enjoyable and fun trip.
Tuesday 19, A beautiful morning, not a cloud to be seen, first up this morning, plenty of impala and some zebra, at the top of both the airstrip and parallel clearing and then as we make our way down toward warthog, 2 lioness appear, this soon has all the games’
attention, they wander up towards the wind sock and then sort of settle at the borrow pit. Brian and Claire join us as well a few other units, we leave them there, continue down to warthog, plenty of impala on the plains, then along the railroad to the turn off at hyena way, go right onto molope dr and stay on it all the way to Q’s corner, impala a plenty plus more zebra and a lone wildebeest. Over to rhino along mashatu and find
more impala around rhino dam, up onto the 4 pylons, on a dead tree an unusual but wonderful sighting of a Peregrine Falcon, a really special sighting, we cut in along the link, go left and head along zebra way for buff plains 3 , impala and a family of 5 warthogs, we miss
nkhonkoni and make for sand dam, here a giraffe and impala, take bongani’s rd. for natural pan, a couple of giraffe, then down to big, where we are joined by Brian and Claire for breakfast, nothing comes in to drink, not surprising as there is just water everywhere, wonderful. We continue down to double, zip about, so up to the 4 pylons
and then all the way along red crested, at the turn down to hide, a large herd of impala and then at the nyosi turn off a small herd of elephant all under one marula tree eating the fruit. Office and then back along the e/e and at Bev’s bench a lone elephant bull.
Wednesday 20, We don’t drive but in the evening we pop in for dinner at Brian and Claire’s we are also joined by Mario and Meagan. After a most enjoyable evening we leave for home at around 10’ish or so and just before the sliding gate we are stopped by the police and various APU’s, a rhino had been poached early evening in the low lying area just before one reaches the gate. What was so impressive were the amount of people, police, APU’s, completely committed to trying to catch these barstards, once we were allowed through we passed even more APU’s and even right in town there was plenty of police and APU’s about. No one was caught unfortunately, so ended a very eventful evening.
Friday 22, Heavy overcast morning, we even got a short shower as we were leaving the house, but in spite of the low cloud, no rain on Olifants. Close to the mahlabetzi a lone hyena walking down the road towards us. After the car swap we find just masses of impala on both the parallel clearing and all around warthog pan. We head down the
palm loop, we have just crossed at the first crossing, bump into 2 elephant bulls, both very relaxed, in spite of some ear flapping, so we spend sometime with them, nice. Serengeti has another large herd of impala and we continue right along to the office then right, across the tracks and we make for hide dam, not many impala about but when we go up and round on hide loop, we find another huge herd of impala and with then a couple giraffe, we head for sunset plains and the 4 pylons then take msimbi dr. impala and a giraffe, go left onto bush willow and continue down to double, zip about so along to big on bateleur drive, few impala about and just before the dam, we find a jackal in very poor condition, lying on the road, we also find masses of lion tracks going the other way, we go in search but no luck. Enjoy our breakfast at big with Brian and Claire and Hans & Ute (59). Head up to natural pan, then left down wozani dr and we continue down mpisi dr. just the odd impala and a lone giraffe, under the 4 pylons, past sand dam, nkhonkoni, more impala on buff plains one, through impala, now all the impala have disappeared, up the airstrip and finally on the rail road, impala, a herd of kudu and another 3 giraffe.
Sunday 24, Some where far away a storm is in progress, plenty of lighting and distance thunder, we awake to the sound of rain, just a few drops though. We end this week on a sad and distressing note, it seems this evil will never end, Olifants loses another rhino cow, leaving behind a baby calf, very fortunately she is found, darted and is now safely in one of the rehabilitation centres in the Hoedspruit area. I include a short video of her capture by kind permission of Errol Parkin of ORGR.
That’s the lot for this week, you all take care now,
Roars & Trumpets, Neil & Morag, 🐘🐘🐘