With a couple of days left, we are still seeing some awesome sights and making memories which I am sure we will continue to do right up to the last. Xivambalana came to visit camp again so everyone was treated to a tour of WildEarth camp along the way on yesterdays AM drive!
We have been amazed this week by a black mamba sitting on the road clearly focused on some potential meal in the bush, it didn’t even glance in Marc’s direction! I was so excited at seeing such a tiny warthog baby the other day and such a perfect picture moment that I had missed but luckily others caught, of the baby standing underneath mum’s belly! Priceless!
We have played with dung beetles,
visited the leopard orchid,
had the elephants drop in to say hi,
and even met the cub of a female leopard who we have rarely seen, Inkanyeni. Her cub is around 6 months old and was sitting in an apple leaf as the rain started to fall! WE couldn’t stick around to see his mother return but at least we saw this pale eyed young male who must be the offspring of Mvula!
Our favourite leopards have not been disapointing us either!
Xivambalana 17 Nov
Xivambalana was realxing by the side of the road on the 17th, struggling with the emense heat of the day, but as the temperatures dipped slightly it was time to move on and we caught up with him again as he inspected the road and bush in his own time! Dusk fell and as he approached the open area he was startled by Xivindzi as she popped out the bush! She called to him as if her maternal instinct was taking over and the pair continued their stroll back into the vegetation towards Graham’s old house. The sound of the even chorus was punctured by the shrill call of a bushbaby that was most put out at Xivambalana’s attempt on it’s life and made sure his ears were ringing of it!
We were blessed to have had 2 of the Matimbas join us briefly for the day of the 18th as well as Induna, both of which were sleeping on our boundaries, but thankfully far enough away from each other not to be a problem for Induna. The boys headed north as the sun set and were no longer visible from Buffleshoek cutline, but at least they had swung by to pass on their regards!Matimba males
That night Marc was lucky enough to find Xivambalana and Karula on Vuyatela access road after drive. As he watched Xivindzi joined them and the young family headed back to the West, but sadly we couldn’t find where they may have had a kill on drive the following morning. One guide had found Xivindzi in the same area but by the time we arrived, she had disappeared into the bush, leaving no trace of where she had gone too.
While we had reports of Karula in the South on Chitwa Chitwa the following day, Xivambalana was found on Impala road that afternoon and we managed to catch up with him briefly as he settled down for a snooze. But it was Marc’s find of Induna the following day that proved the most interesting!
Induna was lying not far from tamboti dam and was panting heavily, with a female impala watching him close by. It was only when Marc returned were his suspicion of a kill confirmed. The impala mother was still around, while Induna rested on the opening to a nest which Marc later found to have empty egg cases inside.
Floppy ear, the hyena clan matriarch, caught Marc’s eye as they sat with the unlikely couple, but it was distracted by something in the tree; a baby impala. Realising she had her eye on his dinner, Induna made a bee-line towards the tree and climbed quickly she charged in! It was as if he was gloating, this time he was the victor!
And so as the bush opera continues, it is time to reflect on what has been and what will be. As much as it is heart breaking, at least we can say we have been privileged and honored to have been able to watch and share so much much of their lives and all these amazing times, will be forever etched in our memories and enjoyed the world over with friendships found and made along this incredible journey we have traveled on together.
Once again, a big thank you for sharing your wonderful screen captures of which I am going to miss a lot. I will stay in touch, as I am sure Marc and Seb will do, on our facebook pages both public and private. I have my own blog page http://tara-pirie.blogspot.com/2011/11/just-quick-note.html for those who are not on facebook and I do twitter when the latest blog is out too!
Thank you so much to everyone for all your support, encouragement, loyalty and most importantly your friendship, it has been a huge pleasure and a fantastic experience to have been on safari with you. This is not goodbye, but fair well until we meet again…..
Written by Tara