24th March – The Beast Returns…Again!

Photo of the Day     24 march_02

Morning Drive

(Chad, Peter and Grant)

2 x lions (Mabande and Ximpoko) – Vielmetter, Elephant Dam Rd

1 x leopard (Argyle male) – Java, Sjambok Pod Rd

1 x rhino

1 x elephant bull – Vielmetter, Entrance Dam

2 x buffalo bulls – Java, Crossing Below Java


Afternoon Drive

(Chad, Peter and Grant)

30 x wild dogs – Jaydee, Makulu Dam

2 x lions (Mabande and Ximpoko) – Vielmetter, Elephant Dam Rd

5 x rhinos

1 x breeding herd of elephants – Java, Whitey’s Rest

1 x elephant bull – Karans, Western Cutline

2 x buffalo bulls – Java, Crossing Below Java


Daily Synopsis

Hello and welcome to our new blog on the Newmark home page!

Today saw me heading quite straight south hoping to get lucky with the hyena den, but as seems to be the trend of late, all we found was an empty hole, and not much along the way!  Perhaps we got there late, but that was because lions returned to the north, but do you think we could find them?  There were tracks for lions all over the place, most going in circles, and the one male we started following headed straight to Ingwelala.  Then Peter tried tracks for 2 lionesses that walked in a circle. Twice.   We sort of determined that the lions that were roaring in the east came to the Motswari (only to discover that they were again roaring in the same place that evening!) but Johannes had more tracks for a lion joining with lionesses then losing them and moving south, so after making my way south, I started heading back to help him, as those tracks had the most promise; until then it was quiet and we only ticked off some giraffe and a lone elephant bull. 24 march_01 24 march_03 24 march_04 24 march_05 24 march_06 24 march_07 24 march_08 24 march_09 24 march_10

No sooner had I dropped Petros off on the tracks when Johannes said that he had seen a leopard while watching an elephant, but lost him as he crossed a drainage line.  I went to see if I could help, but Peter managed to relocate the male leopard…and guess who it was…Argyle Male!  The Houdini of the north, but glad to have the beast back, and he is still in a great condition.  As I was heading into the area, the Kings guides found the male lions that Petros and Jacky were tracking (yes, they multiplied into two lions – Ximpoko and Mabande), making our lives easier.  This allowed me to focus on the leopard as the lions weren’t going anywhere, but the leopard was.  I arrived as he was at Java Dam having a drink before he moved off north-east, but he went into a thick area that we followed through for a while until we hit a wall of vegetation that was not possible to navigate through quickly enough to keep the leopard and we lost him, but luckily it had been a good sighting. 24 march_11 24 march_15 24 march_14 24 march_13 24 march_12

We skipped on coffee and went to see if we could relocate a rhino that Herold had found while on bush work, and luckily it wasn’t too difficult as he was not too far away and in the open, so it was an easy find, and we spent the rest of the morning with him before he moved off and headed back to the lodge for breakfast. 24 march_16 24 march_18 24 march_17

24 march_19

In the afternoon, I had a mission to see the Mabande male lions roaring, so took it easy and bumbled in the north seeing impalas and waterbuck as we went.  I also went to see a crash of five rhinos that were found moving towards our boundary, but they stopped and turned around allowing for a nice sighting.  It was a group of 4 with the dominant male, and they appear to be four new rhinos for us, and while not totally relaxed with the land rovers, were not all that bad, and if they hang around, they’ll soon be totally habituated to us. 24 march_20 24 march_25 24 march_24 24 march_23 24 march_22 24 march_21

Not all that far off, we had the wild dogs in the same spot as where they had been yesterday – clearly the animals were keen on running circles last night!  Sadly my timing was good enough to see them active, but they again moved too quickly to keep up with them and we lost them as they dashed off.  24 march_26 24 march_31 24 march_30 24 march_29 24 march_28 24 march_27

With light running out, we had a very quick drink before making our way to the lions, and as usual, as sun set, they woke up and began moving – Grant followed them to near Entrance Dam where they settled and we waited for them to roar.  We waited.  And waited.  And waited.  One began, but his roar turned into a yawn and they moved off again, giving us some great walk pasts, but settled in the moonlight, and we waited again.  Sadly, our time was up and we were some distance from the lodge, and they weren’t looking like they were going to cooperate, so we had to make space and head off back to the camp, not seeing much besides a boomslang (tree snake) on the way home.  Despite us not getting a roar, our guests were delighted with another fantastic day in the African bush!  24 march_32 24 march_39 24 march_38 24 march_37 24 march_36 24 march_35 24 march_34 24 march_33

Let’s see  what tomorrow brings!

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