Tuesday morning was a lovely start to the day, and with me only having three guests that have been to Motswari many times, we could have a more focussed game drive, and that focus was on finding the wild dogs from yesterday, so we headed straight over to where they had been left resting late yesterday afternoon – luckily, with fat bellies, they hadn’t gone out hunting in the evening. We passed the usual impala and waterbuck as we moved in the direction of the dogs. I decided to check to see that they weren’t still resting where we left them, and Difference found the spot where they had spent the night on a little clearing…the the cries of a hyena having its butt bitten rang out from the other side of a nearby drainage line, and we knew the wild dogs were the cause of this pain! We rushed around and found one hyena high-tailing it down the road past us, not even stopping to look at us; the eleven wild dogs that suddenly came popping into view explained why! As everyone had seen them yesterday, the sighting drew almost no interest, so we got to spent about an hour following them as they continued to harass the hyena, but not to be outdone, the hyena soon returned with three mates! Even with the support, the four hyenas were no match for the wild dogs and were promptly chased off. The wild dogs chased one herd of impala with no luck before arriving at a pan for a drink and then heading into a mopane thicket to rest for the day, and we decided to leave them to it and carry on. I popped in to the hyena den that was rediscovered a few days back and found two adults and two cubs of about 10-12 weeks old (much younger than I had thought based on reports); the cubs were a bit shy, but we sat for a while and soon they popped out of the hole again, but with the temperatures rising, they soon retired to the hole and didn’t return; we moved on. Johannes, being Johannes, had found a leopard in the south – Mondzweni young male – stalking some nyalas. He had missed his hunting effort, and gone to rest on a shady termite mound, so we slowly made our way south passing impala, nyala, kudu, giraffes, zebras and kudu before arriving to find a very chilled cat! Our patience was rewarded when he eventually sat up and groomed, repositioned, yawned and fell asleep again! He is a stunning cat, and it was great to see him again. The trip back north to the lodge only produced a sighting of a lone elephant bull. Duma and Ross male lions were found on the Ingwelala boundary in the north after they had eaten a porcupine, and the mating lions were still around Elephant dam in the south.
The afternoon saw a more chilled approach and I headed to the east to look for rhinos, elephants and buffalos; we ticked off the latter two, and that was about it, but it was still a pleasant drive. It started quietly as we searched for the injured rhino, but found nothing but impala. There were four buffalo bulls at one of the pans we passed, and another lone buffalo a bit further along. The two elephant herds in the area were wide spread in the mopane woodlands, and didn’t provide amazing views, but it was nice to see them again. The best time was spent watching a male kudu doing his best to impress a lovely kudu cow in the last light of day – he was a spectacular specimen, so I am not sure why she was so reluctant to mate! We had a lovely sundowner in the east where a herd of wildebeest joined for a drink before we moved back to the north, passing impala, wildebeest and zebras. Inkanye female leopard was found and lost west of Argyle Dam, so we went to have a look around that area, but sadly, we only came across a giant eagle owl and a herd of impalas, but nothing looking like a leopard. Duma and Ross males were also not to be found in the afternoon, so we ended off with a hatless afternoon in the north, but some of the guides enjoyed the four mating lions in the south – they had actually caught and eaten something in the middle of the day, so were all looking quite well fed again. A buffalo herd was also walking around in the south.