Category Archives: Game Drive Diaries

Winter sighting.

JANUARY 2017

rainy-day-kwalata

 

 

The first week of 2017, a wet week. We received 170 mm of rain, which filled up most of the dams around Kwalata. The Pienaar’s river, in flood first time this season. The condition of veld is improving and young Blue wildebeest & Zebra offspring are still being born. We look forward to more sighting this year, with conditions so favourable to wildlife.
#MorethantheBig5, #kwalataeXperience

January – February 2016

Waterbuck @ KwalataBeginning of yet another year. As expected very hot with a bit of relief in the afternoons with thundershowers and some rain. It has been an interesting period that we are going through, We saw the return of White Rhinos, Elephants and Buffalo. We found a carcas of a young Zebra presumably killed by the lion. The lions have been busy and herds of zebra screaming alarm calls very often throughout the night. We hope we will see them soon around the area. We sighted two giraffes mating as we watched we realised that the female had a young calf with her which looked very young. The calf tried to suckle but the mom had to also deal with the attention she got from the bull. Herds of eland with big bull continue to bless us with their presence and some of the bulls battle for status amongst the herd living a few casualties behind. Two of the bulls are limping from injuries they suffered during the battles.
Sightings of the month:

Elephant (Loxodonta africana) Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis)  Zebra (Equus quagga) Red hartebeest (Alcelaphus buselaphus caama or A. caama) Black backed jackal (Canis mesomelas) Water buck Kobus ellipsiprymnus) Eland (Taurotragus oryx) Kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros) Blue wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus) Warthog (Phacochoerus africanus) Tsessebe (Damaliscus lunatus) Blesbok (Damaliscus dorcas phillipsi) White Rhino (Ceratotherium simum)

 

January – February 2016

Beginning of yet another year. As expected very hot with a bit of relief in the afternoons with thunder showers and some rain. It has been an interesting period that we are going through, We saw the return of White Rhinos, Elephants and Buffalo. We found a carcass of a young Zebra presumably killed by lion. The lions have been busy and a herds of zebra screaming alarm calls very often throughout the night. We hope we will see them soon around the area. We sighted two giraffes mating as we watched we realised that the female had a young calf with her which looked very young. The calf tried to suckle but the mom had to also deal with the attention she got from the bull. Herds of eland with big bull continue to bless us with their presence and some of the bulls battle for status amongst the herd living a few casualties behind. Two of the bulls are limping from injuries they suffered during the battles.

 

Sightings of the month:

Elephant (Loxodonta africana)

Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis)

Zebra  (Equus quagga)

Red hartebeest  (Alcelaphus buselaphus caama or A. caama)

Black backed jackal (Canis mesomelas)

Water buck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus)

Eland (Taurotragus oryx)

Kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros)

Blue wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus)

Warthog (Phacochoerus africanus)

Tsessebe (Damaliscus lunatus)

Blesbok (Damaliscus dorcas phillipsi)

White Rhino (Ceratotherium simum)

GAME DRIVE DIARIES, AUGUST 2015

Ostrich Egg shells
Ostrich Egg shells

September is upon us and strong winds sweep past every morning and sometimes even during the day. We have seen a few tree species flowering amongst them the black thorn (acacia melifera) and common wild pear (dombeya ruthindifolia). Giraffe female and her calf seen drinking water at one of our dams and the little calf was very nervous and wanted to run but decided otherwise. Zebra herds continue to travel to dams and the footpath are slowly becoming clearer and clearer. Kudu bulls sighted near the camp slowly browsing and they seemed to be enjoying their browsing. Impala rams showing battle scars after mating season, some with broken horns, wounds and some limping. A large herds of eland sights with about 15 calves and a very big bull accompanied the herd and you could hear click sound elands are known for from the massive bull. Vervet monkey sighting are becoming frequent but as soon as the monkeys sight us they make a dash for cover and hide from the vehicle. Elephant bulls continue to visit us frequently and you can start seeing the signs they leave behind. They are slowly but surely giving the landscape a new look. Brown hyena tracks are a frequent sight around one of our dams we hope to have more sighting of the brown hyena not only their footprints.
Sighting of the week:
Elephant (Loxodonta africana)
White Rhino (Ceratotherium simum)
Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis)
Zebra (Equus quagga)
Red hartebeest (Alcelaphus buselaphus caama or A. caama)
Black backed jackal (Canis mesomelas)
Water buck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus)
Eland (Taurotragus oryx)
Blue wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus)
Warthog (Phacochoerus africanus)

Game drive Diaries, July 2015

ELEPHANT @ KwalataThe elephants continue to visit us on a regular basis. which adds in the excitement of going out on a game drive as you never know what these guys will do. We sighted a dead aardwolf, we were not able to establish the cause of death. Later went on a game drive and saw another aardwolf. He gently stood up and disappeared into the long yellow thatching grass. Vervet monkeys are a regular sighting at the river. A Bushbuck ram was sighted enjoying a drink near main camp’s dam and when he realise we were watching he made a quick escape into the dense vegetation. Rhino were sighted enjoying a mud bath at one of our dams.
Large herds of zebra make regular visits at dams as water levels continue to decrease and grasses become dryer. A giraffe bulls sighted drinking water on one of our early morning drive, We also sighted a young giraffe calf walking all alone and she looked very nervous with no adult giraffe insight. A pair of two brown snake eagles sighted sitting on top of a weeping wattle scanning the surrounding area hoping they will find their next meal. Ostrich males are showing off their pink shins and chicks with some of them starting to be more aggressive towards each other.
Sightings of the month:
Elephant (Loxodonta africana)
White Rhino (Ceratotherium simum)
Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis)
Zebra (Equus quagga)
Red hartebeest (Alcelaphus buselaphus caama or A. caama)
Black backed jackal (Canis mesomelas)
Water buck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus)
Eland (Taurotragus oryx)
Kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros)
Blue wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus)
Warthog (Phacochoerus africanus)
Buffalo (Syncerus caffer)
Aardwolf (Proteles cristatus)
Tsessebe (Damaliscus lunatus)
Slender mongoose (Galerella sanguinea)

Game drive Diaries, May 2015

The Days are considerably shorter and colder. Sunsets are already around 17:30. The Elephants are a regular sighting around the lodge. The buffaloes are spotted grazing next to the river early mornings and late afternoons.
Runting Season is in full swing, and the Impala males are serious in gathering females. Their efforts to impress females and let other males know who is who carries on till late night.
The giraffe calves are doing well and are browsing already.

Sightings for the month:
Elephant (Loxodonta africana)
White Rhino (Ceratotherium simum)
Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis)
Zebra (Equus quagga)
Red hartebeest (Alcelaphus buselaphus caama or A. caama)
Black backed jackal (Canis mesomelas)
Water buck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus)
Eland (Taurotragus oryx)
Kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros)
Blue wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus)
Warthog (Phacochoerus africanus)
Buffalo (Syncerus caffer)

 

Elephants @ KWALATA

The last few weeks we have had several visits from Elephants. They are frequent visitors on the western side of the reserve.

GAME DRIVE DIARIES, FEBRUARY 2015 .

ardvaarkIt was an exciting week. We saw a lot of game with the Univ. of Pretoria’s Zoology department. We sighted a rhino cow with calf enjoying a mud wallow, they were joined by a warthog boar, he looked very impressive with his big tusks. A large  giraffe herd gently  walking about and browsing. Two big bulls joined them and they started investigating if the females were ready to mate or not. A much larger bull joined,  and he sent the younger guys packing just his size made a huge difference. size really does matter. A lot of zebra foals are being born and they enjoy themselves especially when it starts raining. The blue wildebeest calves are also  coming of age, they have already started changing their baby colours to match their parents colours. A large herd  of eland enjoy a late afternoon drink at one of our dams. as soon as they noticed us they left the dam in a hurry. A jackal family of 6 pups and their parent gave us a nice sighting as they gently accompanied us on the road. It was a nice sighting because one of the parents is an albino, two of her pups are also albino. We sighted a lot of bush babies and chameleons on our night drive. We set up camera traps we saw lovely pictures and videos of one of the shy species our nocturnal animal. We managed to get aardvark, warthog and porcupines. (V. Soate).

GAME DRIVE DIARIES, JANUARY 2015.

Giraffe BullIt is a new year and we had some good rain the past week. The hyperthelia dissoluta (Yellow thatching grass) is standing over the 2m tall.
The elephant bachelors heard are regular visitors. The uprooted trees are a bounty for impala, kudu and eland. The dung beetles are plenty full, and are working tirelessly making dung balls. We have spotted several jackal pups, they are doing well and growing by the day. Early morning drive stumbled across a snouted cobra going after a frog. Our presence startled the cobra, it made off into the grass and gave ‘delighted’ frog a second chance. Two rhino bulls were sighted in a fight which lasted for a while. With the two bulls evenly matched none of them wanted to back down. Later that afternoon we spotted two rhino cows along with their calves enjoying a mud bath. They treated us with a show as they left the mud and went to find a scrubbing post. We watched each individual scratch and they took turns- it was very nice to see this behavior from the Rhino.
Sightings of the week
Elephant (Loxodonta africana)
White Rhino (Ceratotherium simum)
Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis)
Zebra (Equus quagga)
Red hartebeest (Alcelaphus buselaphus caama or A. caama)
Black backed jackal (Canis mesomelas)
Water buck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus)
Eland (Taurotragus oryx)
Kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros)
Blue wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus)
Warthog (Phacochoerus africanus)