Saturday, November 19, 2011

Not so much of the big 5 on display


Before I comment on my recent game drives from Madikwe Hills and Buffalo Ridge, allow me to answer a question that is often asked of me...
"Why do you mention rangers and trackers so seldom in your Blogs"?
The answer is actually quite simple...
"The average stay of a ranger at any property can be as little as two years. I am never sure of how long he/she will be at a lodge after I have posted a Blog. Same often goes for the Chef.I would certainly not want to have readers ask for a specific Ranger or Tracker on my recommendation only to be disappointed that they have moved on"



The first "game drive" was from the airstrip to Madikwe Hills...and only this family of Giraffe posed for us



Despite the intense mid-day heat( around 42C) there were plenty of very proud Impala rams watching over VERY pregnant Harems...lambing season usually starts towards the end of November and can last into January.



Of the Big 5, we got to see Elephant...



Lions...



Leopard...tortoise...



White rhino...as once again Black rhino eluded me...I believe that eventually on a visit to this reserve I will get to see them




Buffalo...



We also spotted this rather ill looking Black backed Jackal. We did not return to this dam and I have no idea if he survived the night...Nature is,by nature, a cruel mistress.



The bird life was as usual spectacular...no Lilac Breasted Rollers, but we I'd find several of these Purple Rollers



A couple of Red-crested Korhaan...also know as the "Suicide bird" because of it's spectacular mating displays...



I do enjoy water birds and these African Spoonbills and a Sacred Ibis did not disappoint me.



Pale Chanting Goshawks seem to found here in large numbers...



This Spotted Hyena was going somewhere fast and walked past us without so much as a "Good morning"...



Some young Kudu bulls catching the early morning sun...



And there were several Springboks on the open plains...is this were our National teams come to retire?




We also found a small pod of Hippo...



At the end of my only night drive we bumped(not quite) into a browsing herd of Buffalo...quite eery sitting in total darkness waiting for them to get close enough to turn the spotlight on...




I decided to forgo my last afternoon drive as a thunderstorm of note roiled across the reserve.




I did not have to even leave my suite as this damp Rock Hyrax (dassie) decided to pay me a visit




Dassies woke me by skittering across my deck...



I discovered this Wall Spider in my bathroom...




I also noticed this frog on top of the door in the dining room...




And this locust in the road...




Big or small, I am always grateful for what ever I get to see...




For more information visit Madikwe game reserve

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