Yesterday afternoon we headed out to some very intense heat in the Sabi Sands and decided to check various water sources for animals that had potentially come down for a drink. On the way, we had a brilliant sighting of two zebra dust bathing. They rolled onto their backs in the dust and kicked at each other. Everyone managed to get some unique shots of something not often seen in this area. We also had a great sighting of a giraffe covered in ox-peckers.
We moved on and found an elephant bull drinking and splashing himself at a small pan before we reached Sidney’s Dam where we found massive herd of over 50 elephants. They provided us with ample photographic opportunities as they interacted, including babies playing, investigating and mock charging everything. It was a special moment and everyone enjoyed just sitting, listening and watching as the elephants went about their business all around us.
We carried on north, keeping an eye out for any signs of lions moving into the area. The tawny big cats have been really difficult to track down at the moment but we hope they will cross into our traversing area soon. We had a nice sighting of a Fish Eagle and some of the more patient guests on our vehicle got some shots of it in flight. We arrived at Big Dam where we enjoyed a long sun-downers stop and quenched our collective thirst as an elephant bull meandered nearby. We hoped to hear some roaring lions but were not so lucky and made our way slowly back to camp. On the way home we found a Giant Eagle Owl, adding another raptor to the growing list seen this trip.
This morning was the last drive for most of our guests on this first of two back to back trips. We were interested in trying to locate the Nkuhuma lion pride. We soon found their tracks on Triple M and this time they crossed into our traversing area. We followed the tracks but soon realised that the big cats merely cut through a corner of our traversing area and back out again. We then decided to head to the east into Torchwood to try and locate Thandi and her cub. On the way we bumped into another large breeding herd of elephants (we have been very lucky with some spectacular elephant sightings on this trip).
After spending some time with the elephants, we found a breeding pair of African Hawk Eagles on a nest as well as a Lizard Buzzard and a Gabar Goshawk having a disagreement. Our list of raptors seen on this trip continues to grow. This sighting was followed by a cute sighting of some dwarf mongoose sunning themselves on a large termite mound.
Towards the end of drive we managed to find tracks of Thandi and her Cub. Interestingly, it seemed that Thandi had fetched the cub and possibly taken her to a kill. Unfortunately, we did not have time to try and find them and headed back to the lodge for brunch before most guests had to head home. Everyone was thoroughly relaxed and happy with the past few days on safari as we bid them farewell. This afternoon our next group of guests arrive and we plan to follow up on Thandi and cub on drive.