Although Friday was still a bit cool first thing in the morning, it was a warmer start than the past few days. Having not gone to see the lions on the kill yesterday, I headed straight over in that direction first thing this morning, stopping to enjoy the sunrise as well as a small herd of elephants feeding a short distance off the road. Passing the baboons waking up at Argyle Dam, we soon arrived to find the lions rather fast asleep, with the kill having sadly been dragged into an inaccessible thicket on the riverbank. Some distant impalas alarm-calling drew us away form the lions, but without finding anything, we returned to the lions and our patience paid off as the male soon sat up and gave us a few yawns before going to join the lioness and falling asleep again. We carried on south, and found impala, waterbuck, an elephant bull in musth trailing behind a breeding herd. We carried on south and passed some impala, kudu and not much else before we found a sleeping rhino in a mopane thicket and stopping for coffee. Heading back to the lodge we passed impala, zebras and giraffe but not much else, but it was still a nice drive.
The afternoon began with me taking my guests out for a bush walk – although it started out quietly (only hearing a buffalo running off a short distance away), but we soon found a nice breeding herd of elephants on their way towards Giraffe Pan – we went around and positioned ourselves on a rocky outcrop and after a few minutes, a mother and elephant calf came and fed on a tree about 15m away, not even knowing that we were there – just magic! Difference picked us up and we carried on with the drive towards the west – we saw a herd of elephants near Argyle Dam, impala and warthogs on Piva Plains, another elephant bull and some waterbuck. Along the Nhlaralumi we managed to see more giraffe, kuduhippo and a nice breeding herd of buffalo feeding along the riverbed. We moved towards the hyena den and had an awesome sighting of the five cubs and one adult – the little cubs are so inquisitive and confident that they came up and chewed on the vehicle, walked around and underneath it to investigate, and were just plain cute! After drinks we decided to try the tar road on the off-chance that the Western Pride might be there again (they were around there last night), but sadly there wasn’t much going on along the way home, but after an excellent afternoon, we weren’t too fussed! In the south, rhinos, and a sighting of Ntima male leopard kept the guides busy, whilst in the north loads of elephants and the lions were the main attractions.
No sign of the wild dogs today, but we will try for them tomorrow.