20 June 2017

I tried my promise-after-wine approach again today and promised hippos, zebras, wild dogs and active leopards…maybe expecting a bit too much???  But i headed out east to see if the wild dog pack might shoe themselves, but after almost an hour, we realised that no one was ready to show themselves besides impalas and a lone wildebeest.  We moved back west, and saw a large herd of elephants spread out across the bush willow woodlands before moving towards our coffee stop at Mbali Dam where I eventually got to tick off one promise – hippos!  The search for zebras prior to that failed, and we only managed impala, kudu and waterbuck.  After coffee we tried for zebras and giraffes, and did manage to get a nice group of giraffes with loads of elephants scattered around the area, but sadly, no zebras.  Arriving at Piva Plains, we found a few herds of elephants making their way towards Argyle Dam, and went and joined them there where more than 100 elephants must have gathered around the area making for a lovely way to end off the morning.  Some buffalo were in the west this morning, and despite the male lion tracks having followed them up to Lily Pan, there was no sign of the lions. 

I departed early in the afternoon to get south to look for rhinos, and we moved off quickly leaving the elephant herds in the north.  We didn’t see too many animals along the way, but when we arrived south, the animals started showing themselves – impalas, giraffes, zebras, kudus, waterbuck, nyala, hippo, two leopards, steenbuck.  Oh, yeah, there were two leopards in the area!  Mondzweni had been found in the morning around Makulu Dam, and he was now in the possession of an impala kill, or at least, he was.  Ntima male leopard had clearly arrived and stolen it from his younger brother and sat feeding high up in an apple leaf tree as Mondzweni male sat in the road a little further away grooming himself and watching his kill get eaten!  We left the two to it and carried on searching for the rhinos – impala, nyala bulls and cows, waterbuck, zebras, male kudus, impala and wildebeest popped into view, but sadly, no rhinos or even fresh signs of them.  We made our way back after a great sundowner and checked on an area where the Machimba male lion tracks had headed, but we saw very little worth noting.  Machaton male leopard had moved his kill and stored it up a tree at our Bush Breakfast site, but he was only seen sleeping in the reeds.