24 September 2017

With windy and gloomy conditions persisting, I opted to make the brave move and head to the north-east looking for lions, which I didn’t find, but that was only because two different portions of the Western Pride were found in the north and central regions – four lionesses and one pride male had killed a zebra in the central regions whilst two young males and two females were near our northern boundary. As this drew a load of interest, I spent the morning enjoying elephant bulls in the east before making my way to the lions later in the morning. Due to the conditions, they were still fairly active, and we had a good sighting of the four before heading off for a cup of coffee. General game included steenbuck, duiker, impala, waterbuck, kudu, nyala and giraffes before coffee with three elephants, crocodiles and hippos at the dam. Tshwukunyana male leopard was seen in the central regions but got chased off by elephants.

Elephants and giraffes visited the lodge during the day, and during my travelling around the reserve for meetings, I saw a herd of buffalo and some elephants in the south, and also saw a pack of wild dogs in the north-east, right where i had been in the morning! As a result, I headed straight over to see the wild dogs (seven pups and about eight adults) resting in the mopane woodlands surrounding one of the pans. It was early in the afternoon, so they weren’t too active, but it was nice to be able to sit and watch them without having to chase after their tails! A couple of elephant bulls were also in the area. From there, we headed towards the other lions from the morning and enjoyed sightings of elephant, impala, kudu, waterbuck, saddle-billed storks, baboons, steenbuck and water monitors before seeing a lone hyena cub at one of the den sites. The lions were not far from there, we so stopped in to see them in the daylight, but with the male being there, he had commandeered the kill and was resting next to it whilst the other four lionesses had to rest a short distance away, but they looked well fed enough. Without much action, we moved on to have a drink at Mbali Dam with the hippos, and on hearing that the lions weren’t overly active, headed home, seeing a hippo out the water but not a great deal else. Still, not bad for a gloomy day!