Monday was a cloudy start to the day, but that kept it warmer than it would otherwise have been. We headed out west to go and spend time at the hyena den and bumbled along ticking off impala, waterbuck and a nice journey of giraffes before arriving at the den site to find a couple of adults, some older cubs and the small little cub out. She is still not too bold and barely pops more than her head out the hole, but it is still lovely to see her. We also got word that the hyenas were harassing the buffalo with the broken leg at Lion Pan, and headed off in that direction later in the morning, but by then the hyenas had given up and a glimmer of hope came for the buffalo cow in the form of a herd of over 100 buffalo making their way to the pan – our timing was spot on and we sat and waited for them to arrive at the water and were treated to a wonderful view of the herd drinking – there was one particularly impressive young male with some of the widest horns I had ever seen! After that, we stopped for coffee at Mbali Dam and enjoyed two elephant bulls coming down to drink before we started making our way home. Late in the morning, the Machaton male leopard was found with an impala kill in the north, and another leopard kill was found in the south – Kevin saw the leopard from a distance but had no luck when he got closer, so went and saw Machaton male instead.
My plan in the afternoon was to head south to go and see the leopard kill in the central region and possibly pop in to the wild dog den, but when it was realised that it was the skittish Klakisa female leopard’s kill, and that Machaton was still resting in his tree in the north, I decided to rather remain in the north; add to this the fact that our trackers located the eleven members of the Western Pride of lions in the north, it was a no brainer. We headed towards the Machaton male and passed the usual general game before finding some lovely giraffe, including my favourite three horned female. Arriving at the leopard, he was sleeping very comfortably in the top of a massive weeping boer-bean tree, which didnt provide for the best viewing, but it was still great to see him just so absolutely relaxed with us at last! He had a fair amount of meat left and there was a lone hyena waiting for scraps. As he was not showing any sign of doing anything soon, we moved on and headed back to the north-east where we went to join Brad with the lions that were just starting to stir now that the sun had set. They got up and moved off, and soon began stalking something. We turned off and just sat and watched them in the moonlight, not sure what had attracted their attention, but after some time the charging hooves of a bachelor group of buffalos could be heard, but as they crashed through the bush as speed, it became obvious that the lions had missed out, and once some of them regrouped, we moved on. It was lovely watching the cubs trying to get milk from the mom that was just not interested in giving it to them! The sounds coming out of the little ones were just too cute for words! It was a lovely sighting to end off a lovely day.