Monday, July 18, 2011

Thanks be to the zoomies!

Nkuhuma brothers. 15th July

Hi everyone!

I definitely say a huge thanks to the zoomies for some great sightings, but especially the zoomie on duty on the 15 July! 

Karula on the 15 July
The sharp eyed camera operator had Karula and the cubs by Gowrie dam just after 15h00. As we were getting ready for drive, Siphiwe exclaimed, "there's a leopard at the dam"! Of course human nature took over and we all crowded around the the monitor to see who it was and where! Sure enough it was one of the cubs and not wanting to waste anymore time, we dived onto the vehicle and headed down to the dam. 

Karula and the cubs, 15th July
As we arrived Karula and the kids were searching the edge of the water for possible light snacks. One being found, possibly in the form of a bird, in a small shrub right in front of Ganda. The female cub was interested in what mum had found and tried to see what it was, but Karula gave her a sharp warning and she thought better of it!

Karula on the 15th July
Once she was done, it was time to move on again. Heading into the drainage line in front of Vuyatela, she dropped the cubs at one of the rooms while she went to find something more substantial like an impala. The cubs went into hiding and we could attend the flat tyre we had acquired! This turned out to be a blessing, once we had finished, the other vehicles had already been to view Karula so there was space for us again!

Queen of Djuma looking regal!
She had given up hunting for the time being and was snoozing on the deck, but as the sun started to dip, she tried again and WE were able to follow. Unfortunately for her, circumstances were not right and her presence was highlighted by the arrow marked babblers chattering away. 

Arrow marked babbler
She even snarled a few times in their direction! Even though her cover had been blown by them, the antelope and even the banded mongoose seemed not to have taken too much notice! She began the search again and we left her to disappear into thick bush.

Banded mongoose
The morning drive had brought a sighting of 2 male lions, so we made our way back to where we had left them. It turns out the injured male and his brother are the Nkuhumas. They have lost part of their manes so look a bit younger than last time I saw them. The injured male seems to be in good spirits even though his left ankle is still swollen. In the morning he was nuzzling his brother and rolling around on top of him! It sounds like they travel far and who knows when we will see them again. WE left as they became ghost in the darkness.
Nkuhuma males 15 July 
Just as we thought the drive was over for the day, a white-tailed mongoose graced us with a wonderful view as it searched for food on Impala plains! It was so relaxed as it went this way and that following it's nose! I have never viewed a white-tailed mongoose for as long as we did that night!  

White-tailed Mongoose
I must add one of my favourite things to see is a rhino rolling in mud. For me it is so precious! I think it shows a softer side to these huge herbivores that some may feel just look threatening, when in reality they are actually very gentle creatures. It just reminds me of a 2 ton puppy! 

2 ton puppy! Skew horn
Yesterday afternoon, WE found the Short horn male rhino first and had a close encounter as he grazed to within a couple of meters and later on WE watched as the skew horned male rhino took a mud bath to help moisturise his skin in this dry winter heat!

Skew horn "Wearing his heart on his sleeve!"
I have a huge soft spot in my heart for these stunning animals, there is more to them than meets the eye! 
Thank you once again to everyone sending in pictures, I always try and put a representative from each person on the Blogs! 

Written by Tara


  1. This brilliant Tara thanks got the blog.

  2. That's really cool. Thank you.
    Anthony Corvelli

  3. Tara thanks so much! A fantastic job, as always!