So, would it be wild dogs, rhinos and active lions today? Waking up just after 3am to the sound of lions roaring near the camp, I thought that we might be in with a chance, and headed off in that direction first thing in the morning – but my plans soon changed when Angie found the seven Western Pride members to the south-east of the lodge, meaning that the roars to the north-west were from other lions! We joined Angie a short time later to find the pride on the move, with the young males being in a jovial mood playing with a small tree; the pride was up and down as they moved through a rather dense mopane thicket but settled later in the morning and we parted company. After a coffee stop with a hippo at Kudu Pan and having seen impala along the way, news of tracks for a pack of wild dogs moving into the central regions was received and I headed into the area to assist with the search, but sadly my morning would end with me only having ticked off one of my three promises – a far cry from yesterday’s success! We did enjoy time with a small herd of elephants, as well as some baboons near the lodge before closing down.
Luckily, my new guests in the afternoon also wanted to see wild dogs, so we headed off towards the area where the tracks had been, but sadly, it was not going to be my day, as no further signs were found of the pack, and not actually knowing where they could be, we slowly made our way out of the area. It had been a very quiet afternoon with a flash of a warthog and giraffe being the only sightings to being with, but as we hit the riverbeds things picked up – first with some nyala, waterbuck and giraffe, and then later more nyala and hippos around Makulu Dam. We checked the south for rhinos, but there were no signs and so we enjoyed the landscapes and some giant eagle owls instead as they hooted above two fighting waterbuck bulls. Deciding to make our way back north to look at the lions that were now close to our camp, we forewent the sundowner stop and arrived at the lions as they went static and started to doze off again!!!! Luckily, the pride had split and contact calls from the two females on the airstrip soon got the other five active and after a quick drink at Maroela Pan, they went to lie on the soccer field and called back to the others; when a response came they bee-lined towards the airstrip where we were greeted with the sight of the the pride greeting one another during a happy reunion! It was a lovely sighting to end off a quiet drive, and i almost forgot that I had promised to find wild dogs and rhinos! Lets see if I can fix that tomorrow!