28 September 2017

The gloomy conditions persisted for yet another morning, but as was the pattern of late, the great sightings continued! Tshwukunyana male leopard was still with his kill, as was Mondzweni male leopard, but I opted to try and follow up on the Western Pride, suspecting that in the windy weather, they wouldn’t have gone far. I started from their place of rest last night, and thought I was wasting my time considering I didn’t have my trusty Difference on my vehicle to do the hard tracking work! But, I gave it a go and followed the tracks as they crossed a few roads, before arriving near Argyle Dam and the tracks headed up and down, and following my gut, went around the dam and soon spotted the lions in the distance on one of the islands on the edge of the dam. Moving back around, we arrived to find that the five lions had managed to kill another waterbuck and were busy feeding – the males dominated and soon dragged the remains to cover whilst the other members rested off their even fatter bellies. At the same time as my discovery, the remaining four pride members were located about 2km to the west of the kill. I headed down to Java to see some elephants and check on Mondzweni, and although we saw some general game, it wasnt pumping. The elephant herd was lovely to watch as they moved along the banks of the Nhlaralumi, not too far from the leopard – in fact we soon relocated Mondzweni male who briefly went up the tree before moving out of the cold wind and moving into a thicket; luckily the elephants on the other side kept us entertained. Brad found a few rhinos too in the morning.

The afternoon’s weather didn’t get much better, but despite the gloom, the sightings remained good – the five Western Pride members were finishing off their kill, the other four pride members remained resting in the same spot all day too. Mondzweni male leopard had moved off, but we got to spend time with Tshwukunyana male resting for a long time before he fed as a pack of hyenas prowled below the marula tree waiting for scraps. We also enjoyed a lone rhino bull who awoke from a slumber to graze around the area. With the miserable weather, we opted to skip drinks and head back to the lodge for a warm shower and a drink at the bar instead to celebrate a great day’s worth of game viewing despite the weather. Tomorrow’s forecast is for better weather, luckily!