This past weekend I had the chance to visit Matyholweni on Friday pm and Sunday, in the hope of finding an elephant in the southern part of the park. There were plenty of signs like dung, muddy footprints on the tar sections, and pricly pears and aloes that had been messed up, mostly in the valley just below the original south gate. I did find some dung about 5 km fro Colchester gate on the first eastern loop, but it could have belonged to a black rhino -- had been trampled by a car, and was full of bark and small sticks....
NO luck on a warm afternoon, but saw lots of eland, zebra and hartebeeste, plus a few warthogs, which is much more than I saw around Hapoor!
Sunday was cold and windy with light rain, so we only got there by 8. Saw zebra, hartebeest, but no elephants. Missed 5 lions by no more than a minute or two at Marion Baree, and hardly saw an elephant the rest of the day!
On the way out my camera's battery gave up the ghost -- my wife had been zooming in and looking at pics too much -- I have to blame somebody!
And of course there was a bull elephant in the first valley of the new section, munching bushes. Sadly, no pic!
Down the lovely open section with beautiful views of Colchester, and around the corner, when another bull elephant appeared, followed by another, and another, and another, and another bull! They were like blinking naught schoolboys, tearing away at the trees, then muching grass, then wrestling three at a time, then chasing each other around the open field! I was desparate, so switchet on the camera, turn off the Autofocus, VR, and managed to take a pic of them in the open field!
I immediately switched off the camera in the hope of more action. They headed in our direction, and started charging straight towards us, pushing and shoving as they went. This was a bit scary, since I was in our teeny Terios, and to start it is quite a rigmarole with lock, unlock, and then start... I snapped this blurred shot to show their excitement, while I was free-wheeling backward down the hill!
I had to get out of their way very quickly, but managed to zoom out and get most of the excited group crossing the road, heading for a big patch of prickly pears. They went wild with excitement but my luck had dried up and the camera went dead.
I can only imagine the goings on when the breeding herds discover the new greener pastures!
Hope you enjoyed it half as much as we did....
Friedrich von Hörsten