A Visit to South Africa May 2011 (Part 3)
Finally we arrived at Elephant Plains, very much looking
forward to whatever sights awaited us on game drives.
On our first drive we were lucky to catch a glimpse of
Salayexe after following her spoor for some time. She
was proving quite elusive going through thick bush but
eventually she posed nicely on a termite mound.
It was getting a bit dark at that stage and, after
leaving her, we made our way to a lovely spot where
we watched hippos as the sun went down.
Next morning we found Salayexe not far from where
we had left her the previous evening. She had eaten
very well and was sleeping in thick bush. She has two
young cubs but we saw no sign of them at all on this
trip. I am not posting any pics of her sleeping as I
couldn't get any good ones. We hoped to get a better
sighting of her later and also that she would have
moved her kill to a tree.
A bit further on I was thrilled to see the elephant we
sometimes catch sight of at EP with a short trunk.
It's good to know he's still around.
We then drove some distance away and stopped to
look at this sausage tree.
The sausages don't look real but they are and I
wouldn't like to be underneath one if it fell! There are
reports that this tree has medicinal uses and parts
of it are supposed to help as a remedy for skin
Our next sighting was of one of the Majingilanes -
this is the one with a square shaped scar on his rump.
We followed him for a while and then saw another
Majingilane - this one had a darker mane and was,
according to our ranger, the more dominant of the two.
We saw a lot of elephants while at EP and here are
some who walked right up to and past us. You can
see the aerial on our vehicle in front of them as they
We didn't have a lot of warthog sightings but here is
one who stayed still long enough for me to get a pic
That afternoon we went in to a wonderful lion sighting -
three adult Nkuhuma lionesses with a sub-adult male
and six gorgeous two month old cubs. As we
approached the lions, in quite thick bush, one of our
tyres burst with a sound like a rifle shot, followed by
a loud hiss as the air went out of the tyre. Lions
scattered in all directions! After a very short time we
heard contact calls from the lionesses and little
mewing noises from the cubs as they all re-grouped.
They then moved off to a distance of 50 yards or so -
as we were in thick bush we couldn't see them though.
There was another vehicle in the sighting and they
followed the lions with the other ranger keeping our
ranger informed of the lions' whereabouts. We all got
off the vehicle and our tracker performed a very
speedy tyre change.
We then climbed back on and went to watch the cubs
at play which was fabulous -
while the mothers looked on.
By then it was beginning to get quite dark and, as
cubs are not spotlighted at night, we left them in
peace and went to have sundowners.
Another good sighting that night was of this genet
in a tree.
A good end to what was a really lovely day!
To see earlier blogs click here