Going into bush that’s too thick

15th February 2014

Tuesday 21st January 2014

I led the morning walk with Cliff as my ‘Back up rifle’, our mission was to find either lion or elephant. We headed towards the springs and picked up some tracks for a large bull elephant. Tracking a seven ton elephant isn’t as easy as you’d first think, I lost him numerous times so Cliff and I had to do half moon sweeps to pick it up again.

I’ve a habit of going into bush that is too thick and that’s a habit that I need to kick before it gets me into trouble. This time it was more excusable as I was focused on following the ele trail. We eventually called it quits on trying to find him and instead turned our attention to the lion from the night before.

We were walking along the road looking for tracks when I smelt buffalo, I swung south and into the bush. My nose led me to a pan and a kopje were we took a break. Heading back to the vehicle we crossed a game path where I spotted fresh lion tracks which I was very chuffed to spot. There’s nothing worse than hearing a ‘pssst’ from behind with the instructor standing over something that you’d missed. There was no time to follow these up as we needed to get back for a lecture on animal disease from the state vet.

There was no walk in the afternoon, the majority went out with the vet to try and dart both the impala and hyena with snares around their neck. They saw the impala but missed with the dart and despite playing the hyena calls for about an hour they couldn’t coax him out.

Cliff and I stayed back to prepare the ‘Makuleke half marathon’ course for our day off tomorrow. Cutting back some of the umbrella thorn with a pair of pruning scissors felt like I was gardening, the garden in the instance was 20,000 square kilometres of national park.