Rainy greetings on this Friday morning from Phalaborwa Gate,
Hope you are all well, this side of the world we had unbelievable times in the bush!!!!
To take you back from the last time I posted on the Forums, lots happened, so will tell you everything.
After posting the photo's of the Leopard from Nandzana waterhole, if I think back how amazing it was, we were having sundowners at the waterhole and only had Buffaloes there. We left, watched some Genets in the tree, and went back to the waterhole there we then found the Leopard.
Shows you once again how things are changing in 10 minutes in the bush.
The 30th of August till the 1st of September I went and did a Lonely Bull Backpack Trail. Had an awesome time, with great sightings and Lions that came pass the campsite during the early morning hours on the first night.
On the 2nd of September we found a few Elephant Bulls bathing in Sable Dam, and later that evening saw 2 African Wild Cats, Lesser Bushbabies, Giraffe, Zebras, Steenbok, and Duiker.
Monday the 3rd of September on the night drive we were sooooooo lucky!!!! I had 2 German guests, their first time in Africa, first time on a game drive, so it must have been beginners luck, so I thought, but the next morning on the walk with the same 2 guests we were once again very lucky!!!!
On the Night Drive we found Elephants at Ngwenyeni waterhole and later during the game drive, we found a White Rhino with her calf, with some Elephant and Buffaloes in the same vicinity. Further up the road we stopped for sundowners and snacks, whereafter we found a young Leopard in a Apple Leaf Tree, and wathed him/her for a long time. On our way back to the gate, we found a Giant Eagle Owl, a Elephant with really big tusks,Bushbuck- which is quite scarce in this area, more Buffaloes, Zebras, Steenbok, a Side Striped Jackal, and on the road something came walking towards us, and looked like a female Lion, which would have completed the Big 5, but was a big male Leopard!!!! We watched him until he disappeared into the bush and driving to the gate with such alot of amazement of how many scarce things and 2 Leopards we saw, and how lucky these guests are on their first game drive ever, something crossed the road in front of us about 2 km's from Phalaborwa Gate. I thought oh no, another Leopard, and as we drove forward and saw what it was, I just got blown into my own bubble!!! It was an AARDVARK!!!!!!!!!!! 3rd time in my life to see 1!!!!!!!!! And here these guests saw all this in 1 night!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The next morning we had a real zoo bushwalk!!! From the Impalas, to Giraffes, to Zebras, and while watching the Giraffes and Zebras moving away the 3 White Rhino's jumped up close to them, and from there a bachelor group of Buffaloes, and as we turned away from the Buffaloes to have Breakfast we found 2 Elephants!!! And to put the cherry on the cake on our way back to the gate after the walk, we found another Female Leopard right in the road!!!!!!!! How lucky can some people be?????
The morning of the 5th the walk was just the opposite, saw no mammals!!!!!!!!!!
Thursday the 6th of September on the walk, we once again got wet with the rain as on the 5th, but at least this time had a stunning time, tracking Rhino's and eventually found them after breakfast. We also saw Steenbok and a Elephant.
Sunday morning on the 9th of September Neville and I had a stunning walk next to the tshutshi stream, as we started walking we found a herd of Elephants, and after viewing them, we found Impalas, Giraffes, Zebras, and a Steenbok.
The 10th we did the walk behind Sable Dam, but only found a Scrub Hare and Impalas. What was really nice, was to hear the first Klaas's Cuckoo for the season!!!!
Inbetween I had lots of Admin duties to fulfill, and before I went on leave for 2 weeks, David and I took 20 guests on a Morning Safari. We saw lots of general game all over, Elephants, and next to the Letaba River a Leopard with her Cub.
Started working on the 1st of October again, and once again had to deal with all sorts of things, except activities, but on the 2nd did a Afternoon walk at Erfplaas, and found Warthog, Steenbok, Zebras, Impalas and a Elephant when we got to the vehicle.
Wednesday morning on the 3rd of October I did a Morning Safari and during this 6 hour game drive we found the Lions on the Sable Dam loop, a Leopard male with his Impala in a Russet Bushwillow tree at Sable Dam, Buffaloes that made their way down to the dam to drink, and Elephants close by too!!! Further on the game drive after breakfast at Masorini, we saw some Giraffes, Zebras, Steenbok and on the S131 another young Leopard in a dry stream!!!!!
On the Night Drive of the 4th we saw Elephants and Buffaloes at Sable Dam's turn off and close to Masorini found the Lions with the 6 cubs next to the road. Eventually the Lions started walking up the road, with 4 of the cubs stalking something in the bush. As we pulled forward we saw the drain pipe underneath the road, and suddenly 2 Warthogs came running out, with the Cubs chasing after them. We saw how the 1 Cub hit his claw into the Warthogs backside, but of course too small and too weak for such a big Warthog, so the almost catch got away.
Friday's morning walk we found followed a White Rhino Bull for about 3 km's and he lead us to the Giraffes, and then decided to have breakfast. On the way back we found a Steenbok.
Sunday the 7th of October I did the pick up and drop off for the Olifantsriver Backpack Trail and found the Lions at Erfplaas, lots of Buffaloes and Elephants and general game between.
On Monday night we had a Bush Braai, and on the game drive we saw Buffaloes, Elephants, Zebras, Side Striped Jackal, Southern Tiger Snake, and the nice sighting to me was the Crowned Lapwing with her tiny little chick.
2 days ago on the 10th, we did a Full Day walk, and unfortunately for most of the day the wind didn't allow us to approach the animals. Everytime we got closer the wind changed direction and the animals ran away. We started off with a mating couple of Lions. As we started walking we just heard the moaning and then the roaring of the male, so went into that direction and after waiting a while to locate the direction we found them, but they ran when they smelled us.
From there we found 3 different little herds of Elephants, but the wind... Around 12:30 we had a few minutes break when we heard some Elephants trumpheting. We got them with 2 white Rhino's at a spring of water and after they ran due to the wind, we found another 4 White Rhino's with about 10 Buffalo Bulls watching over the Rhino's while they took a nap in the shade of a Apple leaf tree. The other 2 White Rhino's eventually joined up with these 4 and with us standing on the other side of the stream watching this movie playing off in front of us. On the way back to the vehicle we bumped into another Elephant Cow with her calf, another herd of Elephants, a Hippo and Giraffe!!!! On the way back to the gate around 16:10 we found another 3 White Rhino's!!!!
And then yesterday morning on the walk David and myself found a big herd of Buffaloes, when we decided to have breakfast. Before and after Breakfast we saw Impalas, Kudus, Zebra, Steenbok.
Look out for some photo's later on...