Wednesday 13, The usual overcast morning, a light drizzle at the estate, but otherwise, promises promises, the bush is starting to show signs of turning to yellow, really need some good rains before winter comes in. The overcast always gives us a good sunrise, so somewhere on the way in I take a shot of it, this one from the turn off to Andy’s look out. Heading down the airstrip road we find plenty of impala on the adjacent parallel clearing and with them a herd of 7 zebra, two of which are very young foals, one of them, by the wounds on her neck and mane has survived a very close encounter, plenty more impala on warthog and we loop up back on the parallel clearing past the top of the airstrip and weave our way down and across mikes crossing, then onto molope dr, we haven’t gone too
far when we bump into 3 elephant bulls, who are really enjoying the long lush grass and bushes close to the palm loop, further along, near the new picnic table, plenty of impala and a herd of wildebeest, hard to count as they are in thick grass, but think they are same herd we’ve been seeing on sable plains. More impala around the wallows and even
more around rhino plains, bump into Maurice and after a brief chat we continue onto the 4 pylons, take a left onto the link road for wildebeest dr, right then left along wildebeest plains, more impala and a couple of hogs, and then right onto zebra way all the way to buff plains 3, cut through onto buff 2 and find a enormous herd of impala, then into nkhonkoni, but all quiet here, we cross over to sand dam, all quiet here too, we take kudu loop for hide dam, passing impala on the way but at the dam all quiet except for some monkeys, right at the top of one of the trees, alarming for all they worth, but try as we might we cannot find what they are worried about, leopard/lion?? lots of long and rank grass and bushes, so ideal for the cats. Need to call in at the office so up mongoose drive, more impala and a lone giraffe. Leaving the office we take the palm loop drive for warthog and just after serengeti plains, we bump a herd of elephant, all feeding along the palm, one of them an old bull, with broken tusks and in musth, not a happy chappy, who chases us, with intent all the way to the first crossing, fortunately we are facing the right direction so just drive away, through warthog once more, still plenty of impala about then up the airstrip road, watched all the way by 3 giraffe, one of whom is standing on the run up area. The birds, mostly around hide and nkhonkoni.
Friday 15, The usual weather pattern, keeping an eye on the the cyclone north, don’t think it will affect us here, too far north, would have been nice if we had got just the fringe of it, getting pretty dry, grass all starting turn, days that much cooler too.Yesterday we missed the pack of wild dog who were seen at sand dam, 11 in all, so after the change
in that direction in the hope they may still be hanging around, find plenty of fresh tracks, especially on the road to natural pan, but no luck, but we certainly find masses of impala, up fungwe dr, down impisi along the 4 pylons, the rhino sable area even more and here we also find 4 giraffe, zebra and a herd of wildebeest, we spend sometime on
molope dr with a small herd of elephant, mum with two different age children, she has dug a hole in the palm for water and all three are sharing the fresh water, special sighting. We continue along to the railroad then across at mikes link, warthog where we find more impala and a couple more giraffe, along the palm to the office, more impala on serengeti and down the hill to the office, impala, a giraffe and a troop of baboons. Top up the tanks and head back along the e/e to the top of airstrip. Along the rail road, impala, baboons, and 4 more giraffe just before the sliding gate.
Monday 18, The usual overcast weather, giving us another beautiful sunrise but besides that not very much to report on this morning, sure the usual impala about, wherever we go, a herd of elephants, at a distance along the single pylons, the big/double dam area particularly quiet, so that pretty much sums the morning drive.
Wednesday 20, We spend the night in the park with good friends Ken & Lyn Maggs at Skukuza and as usual just masses of game about, no luck with any of the cats though but plenty of elephant and buffalo. An interesting sighting at Nsemani Dam, not far from Satara on the Orpen road, hundreds and hundreds of marabou storks, all standing along
the shore line and islands of the dam.
Monday 25, Back into Olifants once more, and for a change a absolutely clear sky, not a cloud to bee seen. Game wise not to much to report on. Not having been in for a week it’s very noticeable how much it has dried off, really need more rain before winter sets in.
The spot of the morning was a waterbuck doe with her young calf on the mica road other wise, a couple of giraffe close to sand dam, while enjoying our breakfast at big a large herd of impala come into drink , two families of warthog, one on buff plains 3 , 6 members and the other along wildebeest drive 5 members. On the way out 4 giraffe along the rail road.
Friday 29, The usual cloudy start to the day, and clears later in the morning, but the heat and power of the sun is waning as we move into autumn and then of course winter. No cats once more this morning, we seem to be going through a more miss than hit, as far as they are concerned, We find plenty of impala on the airstrip, parallel clearing and around warthog pan, with them zebra and a giraffe. We cross at vetsak and along the rail road and off at mala lane for hide dam, two giraffe and a sprinkling of impala, we continue around hide loop, finding more impala and then up onto the four pylons and north onto star crossing, more impala along here. Double, quiet, more impala and another two giraffe along bateleur drive, all quiet at big but a lot of fresh lion tracks
heading up to and along badger bvld and then onto tambothi link lose them along here. Past big once more, left at natural pan and down to impisi and all the way along to wildebeest drive, finding impala and a family of 5 hogs. We find more impala around rhino pan and even more at the wallows, just the odd impala on sable plains, very noticeable how the veld is drying off, a few weeks ago the lush green grass in this area has now turned golden, lets pray for rain, sometime during April. We stop at the new picnic table before continuing along molope dr. to the rail road, as we cross the palm we see a small herd of elephant in the palm, digging for fresh water, we then head along the railroad to the vetsak turnoff, through warthog, still plenty of impala, down the palm for the office, just more impala. Office then up mica road, the e/e to the garages
This is the last drive for the moment as we are away for Easter, so watch this space in early May, till then, we wish you all A Happy Easter and exciting and special sightings on Olifants.
That’s the lot, You all take care now, Roars and Trumpets , Neil & Morag. 🐘🐘🐘