2 Days at Nkorho
Well its been a little while since I wrote anything, that is just due to the fact that things are hectic and that the time I had time to write things, I referred to take some time off and rest. Being awake from 5am to around 10pm at night gets to me.....
Well we spent two days at Nkorho bush lodge in the Sabi Sands and to be perfectly honest, the pampering is something we needed, we have been driving a lot and needed the rest. We arrived at just 10 minutes after lunch time and had a quick bite to eat, we met a few people noticeable our friend and zoomie Karin, Dirk and Jacqui the owners of Nkorho and our power rangers Peter and Jason. We drove with Peter and the tracker Norman for the 4 game drives we were going to have. Well we left for our game dive at 4pm, don’t ask me the roads as they made my head turn with all the two track roads they can take. We saw the average antelope; we saw a miserable rhino and a few other species. There isn’t much to report on this drive, I think we were just too tired to remember it all. But I know I didn’t forget of we saw lions or leopard.
The next morning we headed out after a cup of coffee at 5:30 am. The drive stared out slow not seeing much of anything really; its summer and the animal are pretty much dispersed all over. We had our morning coffee and rusks when a call came in for a leopard. We headed towards the sighting and there we found Rhulani in a bush dosing off not being bothered by much. We had some great shots of him, the leopards in the Sabi Sands are really well habituated and the are really use to vehicles, so next time you see a lion or a leopard with vehicles all over them or a spot light on them, stop complaining they re use to it, and if you don’t trust my judgement then save up some money and visit our friends at Djuma, Nkorho or Elephant plains. Oh I’m off track now, while he was sleeping in the bush we heard some impala alarms, as quick as that he stretched to go investigate what was up and why they were making such a fuss. We left him and also followed the sounds, passing the impala which was now quiet. 200m from where Rhulani was we found a young female leopard walking in the road, she was still small in stature, she did is a favour and jumped into a fork of a tree, giving her a better vantage point, we got some great photo’s of her. Damin, which some of you know from chat identified her as Moya, and 18month old cub from Nyeleti she left from the tree and we left her at peace, besides I was hungry and it was time for breakfast. Blah Blah Do Da Day, we had a relaxing afternoon..... At 4pm we set out for the afternoon drive or Safari as some would call it.
We drove along and if I recall we saw Rhino and a few of the other antelope and animals, it was still early and still a lot more driving. A lot of the vehicles went to the north after some lion sighting, which I believe was the Styx pride seen, Peter made a call and went North, as they were seen in an area where Nkorho cant traverse we drive along the Sabi Sands and Londolozi border. Sharp eye Norman spotted from a fair distance away and leopard in a tree, I can express what a sharp eye he has. We drove towards the leopard and it was a young male looking about. We sat for a few minutes when he jumped down from the tree and walked towards us, he walked past the game viewer and laid down about 5m from us, at first we saw a large male waterbuck in front of him and thought he was crazy to take on an animal of that size, but we didn’t know we had already caught his dinner. The next moment we heard a massive crunch and realized he had caught a female leopard tortoise. How do I know it is a female, he turned it upside down and the females have a flat belly where a male had a large indentation on the belly, this makes it easier to mount a female. The leopard was Id’ed as Mati...the brother of Moya we found the previous day, it was rather amazing at this point to have seen a brother and a sister, we were informed there was a third cub in that litter, another brother. so as amazing as our friend Karula had raised Induna and Mixo, these sub adult cubs were about the same age as Karula’s boys. We sat with him crunching away on the leopards tortoise for some time, and it took some time for him to open the parcel to receive his reward. He did win the battle and I must admit it is a lot of risk for a leopard to crack the shell, if they loose a K9 they will have a massively hard time the rest of their lives.
We left Mati and thanked God for the great sighting it’s been awesome, it was getting dark and we drove for a few more minutes before the African dark set in. We heard from our other vehicles that they were with two Ngala – Lions. We went o the sighting witch was on the Mala Mala border and found two dosing lionesses, there were what is left of the 2+1 pride. We saw on Africam on NK cam the skinny male lion, he was part of these three, and we learnt he passed a few days later. Also to note the night you guys saw the 2 female lionesses drinking at NK they were hunting impala right in front of the lodge, so the guests had dinner with the ladies. Well the lions had to sit and watch. We headed back to camp having a rather good drive..so tomorrow morning was to be our last drive.. L
Well I woke up and spoke to a few people in chat and it seems like there were still a lot of people thinking it was me that dropped my rods on cam..it wasn’t we weren’t at the lodge new years..so sorry no Eet butt here.
It was raining and overcast and we knew it was raincoat time; we left camp at 5:30 as usual. It was wet, very wet, we slid about on the roads which kept me and my wife awake at this time, we were for some reason pretty tired, but soon the wet drive would be worth it. The drive was pretty normal with a lot of animals thinking why they didn’t build shelters and why they weren’t wearing rain coats. There was a call early in the morning about a resting Ingwe – Leopard. Well we were heading that direction anyhow, though the call was a few hours old, we got to the spot and Sharp eye Norman found the lady leopards laying in a thicket, and again she was well hidden, we were wondering if we would e able to get a better view of her and as we thought that, she got up and started moving. We followed her into and out of bushes, until she decided it was time to pose. She went up and lay on top of the an ant hill, a typical leopard shot, she was beautiful. With some time now Peter said it was Nyalei –an 8 year or so old female, mother of the two sub adult leopards we saw the previous two days Moya and Mati. She had tattered ears and peter explained each year or two when leopards have cub the li’l cubbies think they can hang off mom’s ears. It was good to know we have seen two of the culprits at hand. We took many pics of this queen she was so stunning, well then she decided it was too wet up there and started moving again. We did radio her in and our other vehicle was on route. She hung around a big rock, maybe looking for some heat off it, there we sat with her until Jason and his guests arrived. From there we left for the lodge really feeling like a hot cup of coffee by now. We reached the lodge had our cup and stared packing. After breakfast we said our good byes....I went past the cam to wave and until now not sure if they were on and someone could get a screen shot. We left happy and privaliged to have seen the amount of leopards we have.
I would like to thank Karin, Michelle, Janine, Peter, Jason, Norman, Dirk Jacqui and all of the other Nkorho staff for their hospitality. Thank you very much.