Please see Malopeni Overnight Eco Trail thread for the Malopeni Reports... Here
Sunday the 15th I did another pick up and drop off for the Olifants River Backpack Trail, and not really looking for animals, but the sunrises are sooo beautiful at the moment!!!
Monday the 16th of July I went up to Shivhulani via the S131 gravel road and back via Masorini on the Night Drive and found Giraffes, Impalas, White Backed Vultures, Elephants, Spotted Eagle Owl, and stopped for star gazing at Masorini after the guests had a toilet break. What a beautiful Milky way!!
We saw some Elephants, Genets, Spring Hare, Spotted Thickknees, Scrub Hares, Steenbok and Chameleon on the way back to the gate.
Tuesday afternoon we did the walk from the gate and walked down along the Tshutshi and unfortunately didn't see much animals, only all the fresh tracks and dung of their existence in the area, but the great sighting was the 2 Giant Eagle Owls that flew from a Leadwood tree, and a African Hawk Eagle came flying in, mobbing the poor Owls. We also went past one of the Archaeological sites, which I discovered many moons ago...
Wednesday morning another pick up and drop off for the Olifants backpack trail, but this time found a big male Lion close to Letaba right next to the road. That evening I did the Security for the 30 pax Bush Braai and luckily didn't have any visitors, except the Elephants that came to drink water at Sable Dam.
Thursday the 19th we had such amazing sightings on the Sunset walk from Erfplaas waterhole. We found a herd of Elephants, and herd of Buffaloes and to make a long story short, we ended up on rocky outcrop watching the Elephant herd coming walking pass about 10 metres from us!!! Luckily the wind didn't change like 2 days ago's walk. After the Elephants moved off, we found another herd and then viewed the Buffalo herd from a Termite mount, they became relaxed with us in the area, and came closer and closer and closer, what an amazing sighting we had on this afternoon!!!
Friday the 20th Neville found 2 Wild Dog Pups close to Masorini, and on my game drive found White Backed Vultures, Impalas, Steenbok, lots of Elephant Bulls, Kudu Bulls at Erfplaas, and the nice sighting to me, was the Yellow Billed, Red Billed Hornbills, with Longtailed Shrikes, Redbilled Weavers and Greenwoodhoepoes, feeding on Termites right next to the road.
The Sunset was just incredibly beautiful, and after sundowners and snacks, we found Burchell Zebras, Genets, Scrub Hares, Spotted Eagle Owl, and another Chameleon, and another 2 Genets, which one was running from side to side over the road, and a very relaxed African Wild Cat, lying in the grass.
David said he found the Big 5 on his game drive that evening.
On Saturdays Night Drive we didn't see much, but at least had a beautiful sunset, found Elephant Bulls, Genets, and a little Elephant Herd next to the road.
This past Sunday we had Mountain Bikes and a Morning Walk, and apparently they had a very very close encounter on the bikes with a herd of Elephants, and got kept up for over an hour, with 15 minutes of a full charge and stopped about 7 metres from them. But on our side on the walk we had such an amazing day in our life!!!! It was a very freezing cold morning and found a Serval running over the road just over a km from Phalaborwa Gate, further up the road we found 3 Buffaloes right next to the road, and not long after some Elephant Bulls and just after the Elephants I spotted a Leopard running over the road, and quickly switched the spotlight on and viewed him for a while and saw how he was stalking some Impalas. Neville and I said, now Rhino's will make it very special and really we found them!!!!! And Ai, I completely forgot to tell you about the unbelievable, magnificent, indescribable sunrise, and unfortunately I didn't have my tripod with to get a not blurry photo...
So eventually we got to the walking area after all these great sightings, and on the walk we found some Elephants, and then got fresh White Rhino tracks, and started following them. Eventually after loosing the tracks and finding again, we found the 4 Rhino's, and then the damn wind turned, they smelled us, and ran away... After this, we found fresh Leopard tracks and didn't see it, but definitely s/he saw us, turned around, and ran away, and could see all these things clearly in the tracks, and Crowned Lapwings flying in the sky.
What an unforgetable morning!!!!
more to come...