Encounter after encounter

28th May 2014

Wednesday 21st May 2014

It was encounter after encounter today, so much so we couldn’t follow up on all of them. This morning we went down to Jachacha Pan and walked along the Limpopo floodplain stopping at a couple of great look out points.

As soon as we were off the vehicle there were plenty of signs of elephant. We we trailing the tracks of a bull when we heard a noise over the koppie. We followed this up to find a big bull at a tree in the middle of the tall grassed plain.

After spending time with him we carried on with our route and picked up two buffalo encounters. The walk was of decent length today, 4 1/2 hours but we didn’t cover much ground as the group were keen on absorbing the scenery.

In the afternoon we eventually got to Nwambi Pan, we’d been trying for the first couple of days only to be thwarted by EcoTraining monopolising it for assessments. It was obvious why when we got there, lots of activity.

Nwambi Pan edges onto a Fever Tree forest which makes it a stunning place. We parked up at Reed Buck Vlei and walked in from the East. It wasn’t long before we found a big bull elephant feeding on the Fever Tree, he was reaching high up to pull down the branches breaking them off which echoed around the stillness of the forest.

We made several approaches on him getting to about thirty metres. He then started to approach us, we could have stayed a with him a little bit longer, well certainly we could have if we didn’t have guests to take care of.

We left him and headed towards Nwambi Pan itself. We were now in the heart of the forest, with the sun low in the sky. There was barely any debris on the floor which made the trees appear taller than they actually were. All in all what a stunning sight.

Flora alone it was amazing, but add in the fauna too. There was another elephant ahead of us, buffalo to our right, zebra galloping across our front and impala feeding to our left, oh and of course the original bull following us from behind. At this point I turned around and whispered to one of the guests, a first time visitor to the continent, “Welcome to Africa”.

We made an approach on the second ele but as we did the buffalo got our wind and took flight. It was very disappointing to spook them like this but it was unavoidable.

We spent some time watching a pearl-spotted owlet being mobbed by other birds around the pan. As we were watching the first elephant was making his way towards us but as we manoeuvred to get into a better position to view him disappeared into thin air. This really is a magical place.