On Wednesday morning I decided to head south to see if the Sumatra male lions were still courting the two Ross lionesses, and began by heading straight south down Western Cutline passing very little along the way, with only impala and more male kudus trying to get lucky with the ladies being seen. We made our way straight to Elephant Dam to see if the lions were still there, and if not, if we could find some tracks for them around the area. Some juvenile bateleur eagles told of the remains of their kill from yesterday, but other than that, there was no sign of them. We drove around, but after hearing that there had been lions roaring in the west, we started angling in that direction, and found that tracks suggested that the males and females had parted company. In our searching, we came across a rhino bull resting next to a pan; whilst watching him, the lions started roaring to the north-west, so we shot off in that direction, but sadly only found tracks for the two Sumatra males crossing into the Klaserie, and we stopped for a cup of coffee to console ourselves. Heading back north through the western sections of the reserve did not produce much at all and only around the northern reaches did we start seeing impala, giraffe, waterbuck and hippos again. The east sounded like it was full of elephants this morning, but in general the reserve had a quiet start to the day.
With new guests arriving today, we headed east to start off with and came across a small herd of elephants followed by around ten young elephant bulls at a small waterhole as they waited patiently to drink from the inlet pipe – fussy animals! There was also another small family of elephants feeding in the surrounding mopane woodlands. We ticked off impala and a herd of wildebeest before finding a herd of 30-odd buffalo at another waterhole in the east; there we got to see my first baby buffalo of the season, and in fact the first baby in well over a year considering none of them survived the drought! Another herd of wildebeest came towards the same dam and we left and headed south along the Kruger boundary before stopping to enjoy a sundowner with an active hippo in the south east. We checked the eastern areas for any sign of the Machimba male lions but had no luck in that regard, so opted to take a chance that Duma male would be around on the northern boundary, and luck was with us, as after passing a hyena on the prowl, we came across the glorious male resting just on our northern boundary, but he was not with the Ross male (who was about 1km further north on Ingwelala), and I wondered if my predictions of a short-lived union had already come to fruition. Brad had a brief sighting of Tshwukunyana male leopard at Java Dam, but other than that, there was not a great deal to speak of today.