Monday 04, The usual cloudy overcast weather to start the week, no rain. Along members way we bump into a herd of elephant. After the usual car swop, we head down the airstrip road for warthog, impala and 4 zebra on parallel clearing and more impala on warthog pan, onto the rail road and along to mala lane and hide dam, and while chatting with Glen & Terri, Sean calls in the lion on hide loop, they are some distance from the road and lying down so not a very interesting photo, units, 78, 79, 60 & 81 all arrive too. We continue up to the 4 pylons and make for star crossing and then down to double, and except for some impala at the link road nothing else to report, from big dam we take fungwe drive for the klaserie cutline and head south for rhino, taking the new
klaserie link. We find a few impala around rhino pan, so onto the mashatu drive and here 4 kudu bull and a small herd of elephant making their way down to the palm, but when they see or hear us, about turn and head off back the way they’ve come. Impala and a troop of baboon along molope dr, and we go south along the single pylons, cross the railway and head up to wild dog pan, plenty of impala about with 2 jackal and a small herd of zebra, one of whom has a small foal. We take the natures valley road, just the odd impala about, and end our morning drive at Brian & Claire’s home (56) with Sean & Carol and Maurice for a most enjoyable brunch.
Wednesday 06, The unsettled weather persists, no rain but the heavy/partly cloudy conditions keep things reasonably cool.We find the usual impala herds on parallel clearing and on warthog pan, 4 zebra are with them this am. We’ve just checked out warthog pan when the pride of 9 lion are called in from serengeti plains, not much action and they all eventually wander down into the palm loop, we back track past warthog once more, along the railroad and off and along molope dr, just impala about,
past the new picnic table and on sable plains, near the single pylons a large herd of impala, 4 zebra and 11 wildebeest, further on, close to Q’s corner we find Gina (82) with friends, they have been watching 3 lioness’s, unfortunately very thick cover there so we miss them. We find more impala close to sable dam then along to the rubbing post, cross
the palm along mashatu dr. for rhino, but when we get near one of the marula trees, which is dropping it’s fruit we bump an elephant bull who is very much enjoying the fruit and is very disinclined to move, he makes it quiet clear that he is staying put, so we back track and take the old road to rhino where we find plenty of impala about. So up the 4 pylons right onto mpisi and left up to natural pan and this morning pretty quiet both at big and double. We head up to star crossing, the office and then along the palm loop where we find a lone lioness lying in the palm. We are invited to the Alastair,and Michelle’s, McKenzie (60) with the Makare’s and Ryan’s, for a delicious lunch and fun time, finally reach HWE around 6ish. Nothing can beat good luncheon/ dinner parties in the bush, just the best and we’ve certainly had a few over the last few weeks.
Thursday 7, We are into Olifants for an evening drive for a change, main reason is to celebrate Brian’s birthday, farewell to the Makare’s and Ryans, as they all leave on Saturday, joining us are the Cesare’s and the McKenzie’s and friends, for a really great evening up at sunset plains.
Friday 8, The usual overcast weather to start the day, does give us a beautiful sunrise though. Impala and zebra on parallel clearing and on warthog pan, we head off along palm drive, cross at mike’s link and then along molope dr. all the way to sable dam, just masses of impala, wildebeest and zebra on sable plains, an elephant along mashatu drive, we take klaserie link and then along the klaserie cutline for fungwe dr, impala and
a couple of giraffe. We meet the Makare’s and Ryans for breakfast and a final cheers before making our way back to the top of the airstrip, finding just impala along the way.
Sunday 10, To end the week an update on the progress of the little rhino.As you are aware last week’s poaching incident orphaned a young female calf of about 1 year old, and we would like to give you a status update on this youngster. She has been taken in to a local care facility and her health has been overseen by a well known friend, vet Dr Pete Rogers, who visits her daily.
Thanks to a passionate rescue team comprising of Jana Meyer, skilfully piloting the helicopter , ORGR field rangers, Peter Rogers and Janelle Goodrich , we managed to locate, immobilise and transport the rhino calf in the fastest possible time to the care centre. However, the calf was in a severe state of shock, in fact Pete was doubtful whether she would survive. Happily on Wednesday she started eating a little grass and had her first #2! A good sign for her immediate survival, however, we are not yet out of the woods.
At this stage she is only partially weaned and hence requires the nourishment of milk for several more months. She is not that keen on the milk on offer yet – either via bottle or bowl. This step is quite dependent upon her bonding with her carers, Anna and Philip, who provide her with round the clock, 24/7 care.
The carers have a stretcher in the boma and spend their days talking, reading and even singing to the calf. They sleep in the boma so they can soothe the calf when she cries at night.Our little rhino girl has apparently become very attached to them.
We can only be grateful that such caring and dedicated folk are in our midst.
In order to support the immediate upkeep and well-being of our orphan calf it has been agreed that we will be donating R20,000 to the Care Centre from our Conservation Projects Fund (donor funding ring-fenced for special projects of our conservation nature). Ally Hewitt via his involvement in the Boucher Legacy Foundation has also very generously arranged for an additional donation of R20,000!
We will keep everyone posted from time to time of her progress. Mario Cesare.
(IMage courtesy Sharon Hausemann).
That’s the lot, You all take care now, R&T, N&M 🐘🐘🐘