04 September 2017 : Another day in the Life of a Game Ranger. God’s creation in the wild.

gr lepard bw

Saturday was a cool and cloudy day, with a bit of wind, but this didnt dampen the game viewing, and we had yet another great day, and all in the north!

The monkeys were alarm calling as we had our coffee, so we knew that Shongile female leopard was likely close to camp, and we began our search towards the airstrip, and although we didn't find any leopards there, we did find two large elephant bulls and spent time watching them. Robynne found a drag mark for a leopard kill and followed until they found Shongile with a duiker kill room east of the camp – what a start! There were also lions on the main road, or at least rumours, and a rhino out in the west. After the elephants we went and spent time with Shongile as she walked around looking for the cub, calling and calling but not getting an answer. She was dragging us around some terrible terrain, but rewarded us when she went and lay on the perfect rock and posed for ages, not even caring about two nearby buffalo bulls. We eventually left her and made our way towards Argyle Dam where the wild dogs had killed not one, but two impalas in the morning – we got to see a few adults finishing off the second carcass, but as soon as they left the vultures dropped in to finish off the remains...it didnt take long for some of the dogs to come running back to chase them off, but they returned to the pups, and we went and had a coffee and could see all of them at Argyle Dam before they disappeared. We braved the east looking for buffalo and lions, but actually saw very little, and closed down with all of the action having taken place within 2km from the lodge.

My afternoon followed a very similar pattern, and we popped in to see if Shongile and the cub were out, but despite her calling for it, it still didn't show itself...well, not until I was out of the area!!! A hyena skulking about might have kept it at bay. We then got to see a large herd of buffalo in the east – the ones we failed to find in the morning – and a few zebras before making our way towards the wild dogs, that were still in the area. The pack was active and the adults had gone off hunting whilst the baby sitters and pups played around the old hyena den near Piva Plains. Andries had other wild dogs around Giraffe's Nest, but I am not sure it that was a different pack, or just adults that had wandered further away from the pack.

When it got too dark, we moved off for a drink, but found a super chilled elephant bull on Sohebele Plains that we spent time with in the fading light as he fed close to the vehicle. After drinks, we headed back towards the lodge completely satisfied with yet another cracking drive!

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