My last morning drive for a few days, and with a 100 percent guarantee of see either wild dogs or lions, I was quite excited to head out there this morning, and the drive started off with us knowing that some lions had been heard roaring near the lodge, and we started off with a group of male nyalas, impalas and steenbuck. So far, so good. Tracks for male leopard also walked north near the lodge, and as I trundled towards our north-eastern boundary, the cloudy weather was perfect for wild dogs…the the radio call came in; wild dogs had been found…annoyingly, they were located on the absolute opposite side of the reserve, right in our south-western corner, and whilst I was prepared to make the trip down, the wild dogs were sadly lost, and not found again that day. I still persisted and checked the east for any sign of our other pack, but that soon became a mission to find any simple sign of life!!! We eventually got some impalas, giraffe and a lovely troop of baboons – not something we get to enjoy too often. Even our hymn den was inactive, so when we found fresh rhino tracks, we decided to follow up. After a welcome cup of coffee, we checked up on Difference, who was still hot on the trail of the rhino, and not long after we arrived in the area, he found the large bull that we got to view for a short while before he went to sleep, and with my guests checking out, we needed to make tracks back to the lodge. We didn’t have a great deal on the way back to the lodge, at least not in the form of wild dogs or lions, and with all my guests departing, there was no afternoon drive for me to save my guarantee. It was thus slightly annoying that in the afternoon, I got to sit on the verandah of my house and watch eight members of the Western Pride of lions walk along the riverbed past the lodge; a little too late from them! Robynne managed to get into the area to see them, as did some guests that missed the afternoon drive, but sadly the pride walked straight west into Ingwelala, and we shall have to wait and see when they return. Elsewhere, Mondzweni male leopard was seen in the south again, elephant herds in the central region, and a couple of rhino too also showed themselves.
As mentioned, I am off drive for a bit, and will be back in the mix (and with some blogs) on the weekend.