As Chad mentioned in his last blog the Lowveld area is starting to heat up, fortunately, we are leaving earlier in the mornings and later in the afternoons so manage to avoid the hot African sun beating down on us. Although the days may be hot, we do regularly get rewarded with a beautiful cool breeze descending from the Drakensberg escarpment in the evenings.
With no rain for this week, and waterholes drying up because of this, I have noticed the different movements of the animals, many of which we find gathering right in front of Plains Camp to quench their thirst in our very appealing watering hole.
The early morning starts have been a pleasure, my favorite part of the day is watching the sunrise and temporarily breaking the horizon in two, whilst listening to the morning chorus of birds and insects flying around starting their day.
Fortunately, over the last week, if we heard lions roaring, we knew they weren’t far. I think we can thank Chad for this because it seems every time he goes on leave or isn’t driving, they come out and allow us to view them. They have provided us with some very entertaining sightings over the last few days as the pride has brought their new cubs along, and it is always fun to see them interact with other more mature lions when they are trying to sleep and rest, ready for the night full of hunting. The giraffe pride also managed to live up to its name and take down a fully grown giraffe bull close to by. This is a great achievement, last time I counted there were 24 lions in the pride, so a large giraffe bull weighing almost 2000 kg is the perfect meal. The ever-present lions are however affecting other animals in and around the area. Leopard sightings have been scarce as we believe the lions must have forced them to their southern boundaries to avoid being found or having a kill stolen from them.
Huge herds of buffalo, some 300 strong, have been seen as they move through the area, constantly on the lookout for the next watering hole, it is always exciting when you are following a buffalo herd running through the bush once they have used their keen sense of smell to locate on a water source.
Plenty breeding herds of elephants can now be found whilst driving around the lush riverbeds of the Timbavati, during times when the vegetation has lost its leaves and water is harder to find elephants will gravitate towards areas where there is good ground water resulting in lusher vegetation and better eating. It’s the job of the matriarch to lead her breeding herd to these areas to ensure the well-being of the family.
That is all from me this week, catch up again next week….
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