Return to Game Drives. Stop 1 - Lions

Trip Start Dec 25, 2009
Trip End Dec 14, 2010

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Flag of South Africa  , Limpopo,
Thursday, October 14, 2010

The study (well theory anyway) is done. The exam is done. (Party poppers popped, fireworks set) Unfortunately I don't find out the results for another 3 weeks but hopefully FGASA have a sudden burst of enthusiasm and get the results out sooner rather than later. So my aim for the moment is to drive drive drive... not that I've really managed to do that since I wrote the exam.
So normal life has returned and I'm out on game drives again. Now I'm trying to get all those assessment drive speils out "why, I believe we have a marula next to us..."
We had some awesome lion sightings so far this week - the Zimbabweans appeared at the waterhole next to the house as C was giving the talk on the fact we have no fences so lions can come into our property - great timing! Poor Livingstone though got left behind when the rest of the pride moved off to Broken Dam. He was calling all night!
By Tuesday it was the Mahkutswi's turn and they were around Umvubu and Jubalapa areas chilling. I did get very excited because one of the sub-adult females now has a nice little scar on her tail so we should be able to ID her off that for a while (Lady Balfour...) so now all the sub-adults have at least a start of an ID kit which is awesome. (We also had a great sighting of Windgat, the bull elephant. He was seriously in musth but was very calm, and luckily for me was not bothered I had to move off the tracker seat, because that's were I was when we spotted him!) The new guys in the car were very excited he came as close as he did to the car.)
Then yesterday we spent an entire day on game drive up in Pidua North (which is currently out of bounds for us so it was a pretty big deal us going up there to get our mapping done while Ge is here.) But we'd crossed the Selati River into Askari territory and were randomly going around roads when we bumped into a male lion - sweet! I tell the guys in the back that it's pretty cool because officially we only have 2 adult males in the whole reserve and as I finish this I spot the other one in the bush! I'm stoked because now we can be almost certain that they are Xinpoko and Million... just have to work out which way around. And that is what I've been doing all morning - I had to get down to using nose spots (!) to confirm Xinpoko's ID and I'm still trying for Million just due to the fact that we don't really have many photos of them (that are confirmed to be them) to compare to. So Xinpoko should be a little easier from now on.
Tonight we have a planned drive to split the night in two and follow the collared hyaena, Renee, around. Hopefully it wont rain again before that because it did this morning (first proper rain of the season - all of 1mm!) but even more so, hopefully we actually find her! Because of the rain though I currently have a Mr Kitty Cushion on my bed. He came in and put mud all over my bed when it started raining but is now quite comfortable.
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travelmonster on

Awesome photos!

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