Morning Bush Walk – 12 February 2010
Driving to Jim windmill on the way to Olifants camp, I was feeling sceptical about seeing anything. This area has the reputation of being extremely quiet. But nevertheless, I really like it there and took the once-a-month Jim windmill chance. No fresh animal signs driving in, it did not look good. My hopes were quickly disappearing.
Half way through we noticed elephant feeding signs from a few hours back but did not think much of it as we were not hearing anything and what we found was quite limited.
We stopped for a long break in the catchment, at some remains of an extremely old hippo, told by the worn/missing teeth and huge canines. We spent some time there and then packed up and starting walking back. By chance I glanced to the side and saw the elephant bull we were searching for, feeding on lush green grass next to the spruit. We approached him and watched for a while as he moved around feeding on different things. Leaving him alone, we walked to higher ground, taking a short route back and not anticipating much more for the morning.
It was getting hot and uncomfortable and everyone was focused on getting back, the ground was soft, the Mopanis dense and walking was difficult. Suddenly there was a huge scurry of a big animal just in front of us, not much more than 6 meters from my backup and I. My initial thought was a hyena, but on looking up to see what it was, 2 fully grown lionesses were noisily and clumsily trying to get away (sometimes what they do is not cat-like). They ran into some thicker bush to our side and watched us quietly while we left.
Well that was a surprise. A good day at Jim windmill.
Afternoon Bush Walk – 1 March 2010
We parked along the Letaba River just west of the large bridge, it is such a beautiful place. There are some alluvial soils around Letaba, giving life to acacias, crotons, appleleaf and leadwood trees. We walked inland towards a large pan quietly hidden from sight, known only by a path that runs directly to it. Large trees towered over heads as we flushed grasshoppers from the grass with each step we took. It is truly an amazing place. Impala, waterbuck and warthog tracks were evident and a bateleur was flying above us. We walked right up to the pan and spent some time there. Lots of bird activity, we looked down and noticed tracks and faeces of an exceptionally large crocodile. He must have just moved in as those signs were not there before.
We headed towards the river and found some rocks to sit on, in the distance there were some elephants feeding in the reeds and close by was a lost Egyptian gosling. The gosling walked around looking very unsure of itself or what to do, somehow separated from its parents.
Other bush walk sightings:
Zebra, giraffe, waterbusk, warthog, kudu
8 Glossy ibis
8 Greater flamingo
Giant eagle owl
Great spotted cuckoo
(A lot of cuckoo breeding behaviour of various species)
Morning, Sunset and Night Game Drives
We have had fantastic sightings on the drives recently, here are just some of them:
Crocodile and hippo
Sidestriped and blackbacked jackal
Zebra, giraffe, waterbush wildebeest
Male lions mating with eachother
Leopard stalking impala
Large and small spotted genet
4 Cheetah together near the camp
African wild cat
Letaba Field Guide