The wind had died down last night, and we headed out in clear and calm conditions on Tuesday morning and headed to the north-east to see if we could find any sign of our lion pride returning, but all we saw were tracks for the pride from yesterday morning in the very north-eastern corner going to the east and away from our concession, so we moved away from the area having seen very little bar impala in that part of the reserve. We checked the north without much change, and the drive remained very quiet bar a male lion found way in the south, as well as some rhinos there too. The wild dog pack of 19 had been relocated this morning and had started settling in the Nhlarlaumi before they moved off again, and as nothing else was going on, I headed over to see them and arrived to see the pups running around with a duiker’s leg, but there was nothing else left. The clouds had blown in, so the pack – despite being well fed – was still mobile, and as there were leopard tracks moving west into this area, I said to my guests that it was maybe worth following the dogs as they were our best chance of seeing a leopard as they often flush them into the trees; not a minute later when we caught up with the pack, they were all gathered under a marula tree, and when we looked up, what was sitting there!!!! Yip, they had helped us, and helped Ntima male leopard who sat in the tree with a fresh, fresh, fresh steenbuck kill – I imagine the dogs chased the steenbuck into him, and he opportunistically caught it and hoisted it up the tree. He was well fed already, and eventually fell asleep on his kill as the dogs milled around, but also settled in the shade nearby. We went for a drink at Argyle Dam before making our way back to the lodge as the morning warmed up. Kevin also had some elephants down on Java.
In the afternoon, I headed south with Robynne and Kevin hoping for the lion, some rhino and elephant. Henry and Shaun stayed up north and enjoyed Ntima male leopard and a sighting of the wild dogs. My mission began well with a male elephant having a splash at the mud pool in front of Giraffe’s Nest before we carried on south; we ticked off a new born baby impala – the placenta was still hanging out of the mother! We also saw a male giraffe, kudu, a nice journey of giraffe’s focussed on something…the something was possibly an African wild cat that we glimpsed running off when we went off-road to check. Two leopards had apparently been seen resting in a tree at midday, near Java, but when Difference went to check, he couldnt find a single track for either of them, and whilst he tried that, I failed to find a single track for the herd of elephants that had apparently also been there! We carried on and saw more giraffe, waterbuck, impala, some zebras and eventually found a couple of rhinos in a mud wallow. It was the injured female, so we didnt stay too long with them. More giraffe and loads of greenery – it feels like a different reserve down there – kept us company as we headed towards the lion, and we found another male rhino before arriving at the lion as he got mobile, but as with most things these days, he too was limping! It appeared to be the Sumatra male lion, but I am not 100 percent sure; what I was sure about was that he was going to roar for us, and when he arrived on our western boundary, he lay down on the comfortable tarred road and gave us two awesome roars as the sun set on another great day! We were miles and miles from the lodge, and had a long drive home that didnt produce anything exciting, but it was a good day in perfect weather!