15 August 2017 - Today we started a new Safari with Christy and Stephen from the US. After pick-up from a nearby Guest House, we proceeded to the Park for a few hours game drive before checking in at camp. As the day was warming up quickly, the majority of our sightings came near the water sources. First up we found a journey of Giraffe slowly walking across the plain , a distant sighting with a beautiful backdrop of the plains scattered with granite outcrops - a classic view! We then found a herd of at least 300 Buffalo, all surrounding a large waterhole; drinking, cooling down and wallowing in the mud. It was a huge mixed herd with many females with young calves as well as a few really large males, completely taking over at the water with even the large resident bull Hippo making space! At another waterhole we arrived just in time to find a small breeding herd of Elephant, which had just been down for a drink, leaving the water and moving into a nearby thicket for a rest in the shade. Here, an entire pod of Hippo were lying on the bank, soaking up the mid-afternoon sun - a great view and a good introduction to the Safari!
16 August 2017 - We left camp early this morning after breakfast, on a mission to find some predators. Not long into our drive we noticed very fresh Lion tracks along the side of road and followed them for a while, but they led off into a valley and we didn't manage to find the animals. A little later however, we were lucky enough to come across a pack of African Wild Dog, relaxing in a shady spot only about 20 meters off the road. Although they were very lazy and relaxed, we did manage to see them quite well and it is always a bonus to find these rare creatures! Incredibly, shortly after, we encountered 2 Cheetah, also very relaxed and lazy, they were lying in the shade on a large termite mound, completely in the open about 10 meters off the road! They would lift their heads occasionally to look around, or roll over from time to time to move with the shade. One of them did get up to stretch gracefully before moving a few steps further into the shade and getting very comfortable again; a great sighting and very special and lucky to see the two most critically endangered predator species in the park on the same day! As if that wasn't enough, we also found a female Spotted Hyena with her 4 three- month old cubs lying by their den-entrance a few meters from the road. 2 Of the cubs were suckling and the other 2 playing and staring with their large, inquisitive eyes at the assembled onlookers, not sure what to make of all the attention! That was mission accomplished on the predator front and another great day on Safari!
18 August 2017 - We started a new Safari with Jay and Nami from California. After checking in at camp the guests went on a Sundowner in cold and windy conditions, but were very lucky to encounter a large pack of African Wild Dogs on the move in the road close to them.
19 August 2017 - This morning we left camp early, still in cold and windy conditions. We found a female Giraffe with a small calf early on as well as a breeding herd of Elephant with small calves which ended up crossing the road in front of us! The highlight of the day was undoubtedly our Lion sighting, first up we found what appeared to be a lone female lying in a riverbed. As we sat watching her, a cub of about 3 months old came walking out of a nearby clump of reeds and a little while later a second and third cub came walking out to join their mother playing around on the sand. The Lioness eventually got up, leading them back into the reeds and no doubt getting comfortable herself, as we didn't see her again. Then, about 100 meters further on, we found 3 Large males as they came walking out of the grass and into the road and we followed them down the road for a few hundred meters before they veered back off the road and into the riverbed , to the obvious distress of the many Impala frequenting the river edges! A brilliant sighting and great day on Safari!
20 August 2017 - This morning we left camp early in very cold conditions. Not long into our drive we found some fresh-looking Leopard tracks along the side of the road, heading in the same direction as us. We followed the tracks down an access road to a waterhole. As I was still trying to keep an eye on the tracks where they crossed the road, we spotted the Leopard on our left, walking away from us along a pathway flanked by tall grass. As it kept moving away from us, we lost sight of it in the grass after a while and waited around to see where it would come back out, but to no avail... However, we found it and it was a great team effort in tracking it down! We then had some more good luck in finding a pack of 10 African Wild Dog. They appeared to have just eaten and were very lazy, lying in the shade of a large Marula tree. Some of them lifted their heads to look at us and a couple got up during the time we spent there to reposition in the shade, as the day was starting to war m up a bit by now. Late in the day we found an adult female Spotted Hyena, who looked like she had been in a fight, with a few fresh, but not very serious, wounds and bite marks around her head and neck area. She lay by her den-entrance, nursing one very small cub of about a month old. We decided to leave them in peace as she looked like she had a rough time of late, but a very special sighting to end another great day on Safari!
22 August 2017 - Moving down one of the early mornings enjoying the river drive. We slowly moved along until we bumped into a duiker. While watching him we could hear some lions contact calling not far from us. So I moved forward to where the calling was coming from and stopped to listen out again. Not long then suddenly 3 females and ten Cubs popped out from the bush in front of us. The females first came out and stopped, investigated us then the Cubs came after. We had them all to ourselves. From the road they went into the riverbed which they crossed into. Great lion sighting and it's one of my favorite prides in the park.
23 August 2017 - As we headed down a road on a beautiful late morning. We bumped into a big Memory of Elephants making their way down to the river for their late morning drink. The matriarch first came into the road with her ears flared up show ing us that she is bigger than we are. Then she moved off with the rest of the herd trail to get that drink of water that is well deserved. Just got to love the Elephants and the guests had such a great sighting with them