Sunday, September 5, 2010

It’s a cat’s life!

Hello everyone from a hot and sunny Djuma Game Reserve. Although it was somewhat chilly this morning we are into full swing of Spring and loving it! Well, at least I am Some prefer winter, others summer - it is a good thing we are all different.

Siphiwe has taken this beautiful weekend off, just for 2 days, to go to a wedding. What wonderful weather for a celebration. And Marc will be back from his leave on Tuesday presenting the PM Drive that day. From what we know, Patrick has gone to stay with him for a bit at his house and im sure the 2 of them are getting up to no good on their leave and having a blast!! Patrick will still be on leave for another week or so and he has lots planned for his time away.

This week really has been a buzz of sightings. To the extent that when you are out on drive, some of the time you really don't know which sighting you would prefer to be in, the lions and leopards at the moment are out in full force and giving us so many quality sightings it really is difficult to choose which one to spend time at!

Thursday morning Jared and Sebastien went out, not for the full 3 hours as there were some equipment problems, but to start off they found some Buffalo around Gowrie Dam area. They then heard of Induna walking around Quarantine and went off to find him. They were surprised with an even greater sighting as Mixo was also around and they tried to follow the 2 boys for a bit. However they were walking through the drainage line and soon the guys weren't able to follow through the thick bush and had to leave. But a great start to the day.

In the afternoon Tara and Herman went out and also saw some Buffalo. They had a great sighting of a single rhino bull that was wallowing in the mud at the dam and to end off the day they found Induna again and as they were spending the last remaining moments with him before the end of drive, 2 male lion came through the area and Induna ran away to safety. They managed to relocate Induna and went into overtime watching the elusive leopard.

Friday morning with Tara and Sebastien started with them going back to follow up on Induna and the lions to find that the lion during the night or early morning had made a Buffalo Kill (probably from the herd they saw yesterday at Gowrie Dam). The kill was right next to the road just off Philemon's cutline - a great viewpoint for us and close to Gowrie Dam as well. Jared and myself went out in the afternoon to follow up on the lion and their kill and found them at the same spot, one lying next to the kill, full after a day's eating. We spent a bit of time with the kill and one male and then went off in search of the other male. We found him about 200m down the road, with an injured leg which he seems to have had for a little while, but doing well. We spent a good 2 hours with him as he gave us great entertainment by moving around and lying on a termite mound close by - what a handsome chap!! And to end off our drive we went past Treehouse dam to have a scratch around and found some buffalo and Induna later on walking up to the dam with a hyena mooching around on the other side. It was all happening that afternoon! What a great drive!

To end off the day we had a special fireside chat with Tara hosting. Dr Patrick Benson joined us to talk about Vultures and all the research he has done and is doing all over South Africa with the birds. He was a wealth of knowledge and we all watched and asked questions as we got to know a little bit more about these creatures! Great fireside chat!

Saturday started off with Jared and I following up on the lion in the morning. They were flat cats and very full after feeding so well for 2 days so we spent just a half hour with them and moved on to help some of the Djuma Rangers locate a leopard they had heard of around the Twin Dams area. We drove around in search of her and eventually managed to see Karula after the Djuma Rangers had found her in a very thick block of bush. After watching Karula for awhile we left and just before we were due to close down from drive, we found a small herd of Elephant along Buffelshoek cutline which was such a nice sighting considering we hadn't seen ellies in a while.

And that's all for now folks.

Chat again on Thursday next week. Have a good one!


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