Sunny very hot greetings from Phalaborwa Gate,
I really enjoyed my 4 off days break and started with a rush again on last Friday morning. Also prepared for the how manieth interview, so will 10 to 1 hear this coming week, but don't feel positive, due to Employment Equity, that is keeping our white males from promotions...
Saturday evening we had a big group, 40 pax for Night Drive, and on my drive we were really lucky seeing, Kudus, Giraffe, Elephant, with a beautiful sunset and driving back to the gate found African Wild Cat, Steenbok, Blackbacked Jackals, Genet.
Sunday during the afternoon drove through to Skukuza for the Lower Sabie Head Guide Interviews, and after the Interview drove back to Phalaborwa.
Tuesday evening while being Bush Braai Security, we heard a Leopard calling, but was not lucky like the night before, where he fell out of a tree, after trying to catch a Guineafowl, and the week before, walking pass the Bush Braai spot at night.
Wednesday morning the 22nd of August we walked at Nandzana waterhole, and not long after we started we saw a Elephant Bull and approached him, and followed him for about 200 metres. It was such a nice sighting, and after we left him, we found Zebras, Impalas, Steenbok.
That evening I never thought that the sightings would have been soooooo great!!! And seeing my first Cat Kill ever and that after being here in the Kruger National Park for almost 8 years!!!!!!!!!!!
I knew 4 Lions were lying on the S131 gravel road, so got a report that there was a Leopard stalking Impalas on the Phalaborwa- Letaba- Mopanie T-Junction, so decided to drive the tar road around to Ngwenyeni Waterhole, and after not seeing the Leopard, we found the Lions on the S131 gravel road, about a km from the waterhole. After getting bored watching the cats sleeping, we drove down to Ngwenyeni waterhole and found 2 Black backed Jackals, a few Buffalo Bulls, Giraffes, Zebras, Elephant and Impalas around the waterhole. After some time we went back to the Lions, to find that they were gone, but by looking at the tracks saw they were heading to the waterhole.
We then decided to have Sundowners at the waterhole, and as it became a bit darker we just suddenly saw the 2 Giraffes to our back running and the Zebras too, with a Lionness chasing after them, and then suddenly just heard the one little foal calling, and knew the Lionness caught it. I can't describe the feeling, it was awful!!! And the worst was the mother calling continously after the foal went to Heaven, and now the Lions fully filled up, but it wasn't too nice to experience. From there we went around Sable Dam and back, and didn't see much.
The next morning we did the Walk from Erfplaas, and saw a herd of Elephants, Impalas, Zebras, dead Honeybadger.
Friday morning on the Mountain Bike trail we were once more lucky, and found some Kudu Bulls, before some fresh Lion tracks. At a point you could have seen the Lions turned around and it was then when we stopped and suddenly heard a Elephant to our right. Jumped off the bikes and went closer and had such an amazing sighting of the Elephant Bull, and it was only the little 7 metre wide stream, and a big straight drop off slope between us.
As we got back and just picked up the bikes to start cycling again we heard the 2 Lions behind us in the bush, and definitely the male told everyone in the surrounding that he is mating and we shouldn't bother them. We started stalking up into the direction where we heard them, but couldn't see them, so decided to have breakfast, and after breakfast eventually found the mating couple of Lions, and unfortunately the Lionness saw us, and ran with the male of course following his queen.
It was then already very hot, and on our way back to the vehicle, saw a herd of Elephants too.
This morning once again, started off on the Morning drive with a beautiful sunrise and Honey Badger close to the gate and went around Sable Dam, looking for the 2 Lions mating, but could only hear them roaring far into the bush. Decided to have our coffee break at Masorini and found Elephants, Buffaloes, Impalas and Rock Dassies around Masorini. After that we drove onto the Shikumbu category D road, and thought I should tell them about the Mopane Trees. I just started, when a Leopard Male started calling and not long after appeared ahead of us in the road. Unfortunately not for long, but eventually found him lying on a Termite Mount right next to the road, after we watched a White Backed Vulture. We followed and viewed the Leopard in total for about 45 minutes!!!
After this very special sighting we found Zebras and Giraffes with a tiny little calf at Shikumbu, and made our way back to the gate!!!