22 November 2017

Wednesday saw me head out in clear blue skies with my whole group of guests, and we took it easy in the north to begin with, doing about 3km in the first hour and a half! We spent time with impala, waterbuck, nyala, hyena, hippos, baboons, crocodiles and kudu before a cup of coffee. Mondzweni male leopard was found in the west, and based on the quiet couple of days with leopards, we decided to head in his direction as the morning warmed up. We passed impalas, some elephant bulls and a few giraffe along the way, but the west is starting to look drier by the day…luckily, Mondzweni was a worthwhile cat to make a trip west for, and we got to spend some lovely time following him as he searched for a meal before we parted company and headed back to the lodge for breakfast.

The afternoon was a warm one – 41,4 degrees today – and we headed towards the dams, passing waterbuck, hippos, impala, giraffe and kudu as we moseyed along. Baboons, warthogs and more waterbuck and impala sought shade along the river banks, and we arrived to find three elephants in the water with a pod of hippos and a grey heron that was using the hippos as a surface to fish from; I thought he had no chance, and it only took a few minutes for him to prove me wrong and he caught a large catfish before the yellow-billed kites sat mobbing him in an attempt to steal the kill, but with no luck. Mondzweni male leopard was found in the area we left him this morning, but Xiviti male leopard was the one that drew our attention in the east, so we slowly made our way back towards him and got to spend the last part of the day watching him walk around as he appeared to be searching for something, possibly a female leopard? We eventually moved on and had a drink with a gorgeous baboon spider, and no sooner climbed in the Land Rover to head home when two hyenas came to investigate the spot we had just been standing! I dropped some guest off at Giraffe’s Nest, and Shadrack said that we had just missed a leopard drinking there (the guests did see a leopard a little later in the evening!), and arriving back at the main lodge, also heard that a leopard had been drinking at the bird bath at Chris and Janet’s house, and a herd of elephants popped into the riverbed during donner; the first herd we have seen in the north for weeks, literally! Elsewhere, Godfrey had elephants in the south, but that was about it for the afternoon. Tomorrow promises cooler weather, so hopefully that will bring some lions or wild dogs back?