Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Ostrich and the Cheetah!

Good morning everyone and welcome to another Blog. This week has been full of rare and wonderful sightings and the crew are all elated as to what has been encountered and seen over the past few days.

Spring has sprung as of yesterday and the weather has definitely taken a turn for the better. The mornings are still a little bit chilly with some mist hanging around but for the most part of the day the temperatures are hitting the 30's already. Some of the August wind is still around but the season is changing and summer this year is going to be a hot one I think!

Rhino at Buffelshoek Dam

Sundays game drives were the start of the wonderful sightings. In the morning Jared and myself went to scout out Buffelshoek dam which lately has been a hive of leopard activity. True to form we hear a leopard sawing moments after we had switched off the vehicle and went in chase of it. We found Karula strolling along marking her territory so we followed her! Eventually after some heavy off roading with Karula on the march, we discovered that she had made 2 kills (a steenbok and a grey duiker) and had hoisted them up some trees. We spent most of the rest of the drive with her which was fantastic. In the afternoon we had some 3D rig issues that we needed to sort out and the drive didn't go out for very long. For the little bit of time the crew did manage to go out in they found a fantastic bird that is hardly ever seen strutting along Philimons cutline: an Ostrich!!! What a rare and amazing thing to see and a highlight for the week for sure! And to end of the day Patrick hosted the fireside chat where we spoke about the hyena den that had been found the previous week.

Monday morning started off with Tara and Herman going back out to visit Karula after the night. She was still there in her tree with her 2 kills she had made looking very lethargic. They also had some rhino visit the scene and a hyena or 2 and Karula dashed off for a while to return a little later once she realized the rhino were no threat to her.

Sunset over Buffelshoek Cutline

In the middle of the day, the crew went down to Gowrie Dam again to try and fix the waterhole camera but to avail and so in the afternoon Patrick and myself went out on drive to go and see Karula again. There she was still in her tree sleeping with the hyena underneath her at the base of the tree. We had a few technical issues again on drive but managed to see some elephant around Gowrie dam and some buffalo at Treehouse dam aswell!

Tuesday morning with Jared and Sebastien out on the Ganda started off very well with Jared spotting a kill in a tree just off Philimon's cutline. They drove in to get a closer view of it and found Induna lying at the base of the tree. The culprit to the crime! They spent most of the morning with Induna. And in the afternoon Tara and Herman had huge amounts of luck when one of the Djuma rangers found some cheetah around Gowrie Dam. There had been tracks in the morning but no one had found anything but the afternoon brought about the rewards. Again, another fantastic sighting for the week and the cheetah seemed to want to stay for a little while.

On Wednesday morning, Tara and Herman went out again to find the cheetah and managed to relocate them around Treehouse dam area. What followed was the best cheetah sighting Herman says he has ever seen! How lucky they were to witness 3 cheetahs drinking and playing around the dam. In the afternoon Jared and myself went out to try and find the cheetah again but they seemed to have moved off but we did find some buffalo at chela pan wallowing but had some technical problems on the vehicle as well as the internet was down for a little while so drive was intermittent over the afternoon.

So that was that for the past few days. And what a few days they have been! We can only hope to see more amazing sightings for the rest of the week.

Till next time! Kath.

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