I returned to drive on Sunday afternoon after three days off drive, and I am happy to report that the game viewing was still as good as I left it! The three Ross lions had been in the south, the Western Pride had been in the north and west, but sadly these seven lions remained without food for about a week (until today that is!), and Ntima male leopard and Nthombi female leopard both made themselves know – even our wild dogs made a return!
I joined drive spoilt for choice – the eleven wild dogs resting at a waterhole in the north; go follow up on Nthombi female leopard in the south; go see Duma male lion and the other old scrappy male lion on a buffalo kill in the south west; go and see the seven Western Pride of lions on a buffalo kill on our access road; go further south to see the two Sumatra male lions; go and see if Inkanye female leopard was at her bushbuck and impala kills in the north; or see the many elephants and buffalos in the area – it really was a great drive to return to! As it was, I began with elephants on the airstrip as the temperature touched 41 degrees Celsius, and but decided to head towards the waterholes – Argyle Dam had hippo, waterbuck and impala around, whilst Piva Plains bustled with life too – zebras, warthog, almost 200 impala and waterbuck! I then located a herd of buffalo nearing 100 individuals feeding along the Sohebele riverbed before making a trip to see the wild dogs that had spent a day resting at a small pan in the north; some elephants were in the area too, and whilst they had harassed the dogs earlier, when we were there the most activity was four of the pups returning to the pack before settling down again (they had clearly fed well in the morning). I was then passing the area where Inkanye’s kills had been in the morning, but sadly she had been up to her usual scarce self around the kills, and although no one had seen her since the morning, she was luckily resting in the open adjacent to the concrete crossing when I went past. I then made my way home along the tarred access road to see the Western Pride of lions on their buffalo kill as the hyenas gathered – most the pride walked off for a drink but soon returned; sadly the road was much busier than one would have expected for a Sunday night, and after bumping into several vehicles I opted to head away from the area. In addition, we saw several more herds of zebra, wildbebeest, giraffe, impala, and baboons around the north to make for a very busy afternoon!