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

gr-zebras

My last blog update for a couple of weeks before I had off on leave, and it wasnt quite the finish that I was hoping for, but I did set some big targets – wild dogs, buffalo and lion! We checked up on Xiviti male leopard, but he was not in the mood to do anything, so we carried on to the east to scratch around for the wild dogs. Unfortunately despite checking most of the area, we found no sign of them, and the buffalo that had headed east must have turned and gone back east – perhaps that is what drew the male lion into the area, but we saw no more than his tracks.

Whilst I was having a quiet trip in the east, the Motswari guides found where the Western Pride of lions had treed Shongile's cub high up in a marula tree and gone to rest near, leaving the poor leopard stranded! As he is quite nervous, we kept our distance and made sure that only one vehicle at a time was present, but sadly this meant that it took a while to get through the line up, and as my guests had an early checkout, we didnt have time to go and see them. We did however manage to track down the large buffalo herd and saw them nicely before making our way back to the lodge after passing a couple of lone elephant bulls. We got a flat tyre, and only when we removed the tyre did we realise that my shock absorber had broken and this meant that we couldnt get our spare tyre on the vehicle, so we radioed the lodge to bring another jack up to lift up the axel, and as we waited, the buffalo herd came over the hill giving a great view of them! After breakfast I went to check on the leopard to confirm the ID and felt so sorry for the poor chap, as he was right at the top of a tree without any leaves on a day that was forecast to get to 34 degrees celsius in the shade! As it turns out, he spent all day in exactly the same position, sitting on the top branches waiting for the lions to move, which they eventually did before they chased a buffalo north into Ingwelala and the little leopard could safely get down the tree, and go straight to get a drink of water I am sure!

I am heading on leave and will only be back in action in mid-September, so until then, keep well and stay safe. If my first missed morning drive is anything to go by, I might regret going on leave...A days after driving down the road and talking about how I have never seen a sable antelope at Motswari, and that it is my nemesis, but as we have had one sighting a year for the last five years, I always believed there was a chance...guess what the guides saw on the morning of the 31st August? Not one, not two, but three SABLE ANTELOPE!!!! And to make matters worse, it was right in the middle of the reserve, and I have no idea how they got there! I had even heard Brad and Grant talking on the radio about responding to a sighting, but as I was blogging, I wasnt paying much attention and missed the species....if only I could turn back the hands of time to have asked what they had found, I most definitely would have got to see them!!! I did head out when I heard what had been seen, but sadly I found no sign of them, so I headed home dejectedly. Still, upon reviewing the months sightings, I realised I could have no complaints!!!

 

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