As we got to the pan we saw ten elephant bulls drinking and splashing around in the mud, then we moved off to the side and disembarked the vehicle for sundowners. As the guests were enjoying their red wine a group of about a dozen buffalo dagga boys came past us and went to drink and wallow. As the sun was setting a white rhino cow and calf came to the water and drank alongside the elephants and buffalos, and in the distance we saw a black rhino that was waiting for us to leave. Then as it was getting dark the Southern Pride of five lions came in slowly. It was getting dark so we spied on them with our binos as they stalked towards the water. We patiently waited for about an hour hoping to witness a kill. Eventually the lions came to the water and drank and the buffalo charged off. We also decided to leave as it was getting late, but as we left and were driving away we heard bellowing, so immediately turned the vehicle around and came back, witnessing the lions kill one of the dagga boys about 15 meters from us!
In the morning we returned to the scene to find the five lions sleeping under a bush in front of the hide. Later on elephants arrived and
chased the lions around!
Our sunken photographic hide offers you the opportunity to be at water-level in a safe, contained and cool place. It’s exciting seeing the
heroes of the safari experience as well as observing the smaller animals that need to drink too.
Here a jackal is framed by an impala. (Taken inside the hide.)
A curious white rhino bull inspected us as other rhinos, buffalos, elephants and zebra gather at the water.
Five young rhinos were peacefully enjoying a drink when out of the bushes appeared a huge bull. Much tentative approaching, cautious greeting and submissive squealing ensued from the youngsters. The big bull reversed into the muddy shallows and flopped down for a wallow, but after a while the youngsters irritated him and needed to be shown who is boss.
A tender moment as impala finally summon the courage to quickly quench their thirst. (Taken inside the hide.)
We were on an early morning drive on the Bhanyini plains and were watching the two cheetah brothers scouring the area. There were lots of wildebeest with their young calves about and nearby was a bachelor herd of zebra. As the cheetahs took up positions to hunt a calf one of the zebra stallion kept blocking their view.
It was during our morning drive that we came across fresh tracks of the wild dogs in the Nhoro area, on the northern side of the reserve. The tracks told us they were moving in a southerly direction, and with the sun already heating during this time of the day we knew that it would not be long before they would take a rest in an area that has some water and shade. The tracks kept on heading south and we thought that with plenty of water at Sosiji Dam this could be the area they were heading. But, to our surprise, there was no sign of them there.
The temperature was very high, above 40 degrees Celsius, and so I decided that afternoon to sit and wait quietly in the shade with my guests at Lojaan Dam. Lojaan is one of my favourite places on the property. The scenery is amazing, and this area with its hills, drainage lines and thick bush is the right habitat for buffaloes and black rhino.
Sitting in Hwata blind (our sunken photographic hide) is an incredible way to wait for animals to come and drink, especially when the heat beats down on the earth and scorches the last bit of moisture out of almost everything. At this time of the year one can sit in the blind and always have something to watch, from the endless amount of doves that just seem to keep coming to drink, to the almost resident impalas around the open areas of the pan. It’s always great to see this action, but of course the action that we all hope for is the arrival of the bigger pachyderms.