Two bull elephants in combat

20th March 2014


Thursday 6th March 2014

After yesterday’s walk Johnny and Emma were keen for another one so we headed out with the ‘trails’ group. Jomi and Wien were great and despite it not being my turn they were more than happy to let me go as ‘back up’. It was humid again and although the walk only lasting for three and a quarter hours it left me shattered, my head was making like a nodding dog on the drive back to camp. The walk had no encounters which was a shame, it would have been great for Johnny and Emma to see one of the big five on foot.

Their stay was coming to an end so for the last game drive we arranged for our dinner to be plated up which meant we could come back much later. This was to improve our chances of seeing leopard and hyena. We set off at the normal time so all in all the drive was the best part of five hours. We were in no rush and went at a leisurely pace taking time to look at tracks, trees and birds as well as the general game.

After almost getting the vehicle stuck on the side of the road we stopped for our first of two sun downers (despite the sun only going down once). I suggested 15 minutes of solitude but the relatively newly wed couple only managed seven minutes of this, still I think they saw its value.

We had a great sighting of two bull elephants in combat. The clashes of their tusks and the breaking of branches raised our heart rates in the fear that they may turn their attention to us. When safe to do so we cautiously made our way past them and then found ourselves in the middle of a huge breeding herd of buffalo on our approach to the Luvuvue Bridge for our second round of sundowners.

Before it got dark Emma caught a glimpse of a hippo making its way along the ‘raging’ river. This was on her hit list so I was pleased, shame that it was only a fleeting sighting. We headed back to camp along Rhino Boma and Middle Road but had no luck with leopard. We weren’t going to be that lucky – maybe for Mum and Dad next week.

We did spend time looking at a couple of Verreaux’s eagle-owls. The owls along with the hippo in the fading light made the extended drive worthwhile. Johnny and Emma got to learn first hand about the perils of operating the spot, a face full of insects.

We had a late night for bush standards and finished off a few bottles of wine with Bruce, Dee and Jomi.