Saturday was a slightly frustrating day for me, as my search for both morning and afternoon drives was to find leopard – the morning took me east, but despite hearing Xiviti male calling, he was not to be found; nor were the two Machimba male lion whose tracks are around. I then headed to Java to look for tracks of a leopard that had been walking around there, but came up empty handed. Had it not been for leopard, the morning had much to offer; the two Western Pride lions were still on the waterbuck kill at Argyle Dam, but the visual wasn’t great throughout the day, and the other eight members arrived in the western sections after trailing a buffalo herd that was still around. Two crashes of rhinos on the south and elephants in the north, together with zebra, wildebeest, giraffes, kudu, warthogs and impalas would have rounded off a great drive if I had gone to see them.
My afternoon was also messed up by leopards; I began well with impala, waterbuck and the lions feeding on the kill (lovely sounds but poor visual under a thick bush), and was heading towards the eight lions when Shongile female leopard popped up on the dam wall, but when i approached the area she had moved east and was sadly lost going into a horrendously thick area, and my afternoon was thus in tatters! We did see hippo, giraffe, kudu and elephant after dark, but it really wasn’t a productive afternoon. Richard saw rhinos in the east, and the buffalo were out in the west still, as were the eight Western Pride members.