A usual question posed to any ranger is, “What do you see when on drive and what is better, the morning, or the afternoon drive?” A great example that answers both of these questions are the drives I had last night and this morning with guests. The weather has finally started to turn from cold and rainy to sunny and warm. The veld is now green, the bird life has picked-up and most animals are giving birth. My guests and I started our evening drive with a fantastic view of The Drakensberg, followed by zebra and multitudes of giraffe and kudu. We then proceeded to a wonderful white rhino sighting consisting of three females of various ages just as the “Golden Hour” for photography started. On our way to look for lions we bumped a large herd of our disease free buffalo surrounded by some very active and curious Red-Billed Oxpeckers. Carrying on, with the light still fantastic and the sky changing slightly into different hues of orange and pink, we found two lion cubs and their mother playing and eating off a buffalo calf they had killed the previous evening. The cubs climbed trees and wrestled with their mother, intermediately eating bits here and there. A true Africa sunset accompanied our Sundowners, along with inquisitive giraffe, as well as Bush-Babies hopping tree to tree, and just after dark we got an amazing sighting of our big male lion lazy in the road looking his usual King of The Jungle self.
The following morning brought a Blacked-Backed Jackal pup playing outside the den while the parents ate a small breakfast. Then our herd of elephant playfully eating, drinking, and causing mischief in and around the bush, on the road, and basically in wonderful view for myself and my guests. Wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, steenbok, impala, duiker, and warthog were ever-present. After a restful and yet rejuvenating coffee break we witnessed an adult Gabar Goshawk bathing himself in a small pan, (not a usual sighting at all.) After which we bumbled along to one of our dams for a hilariously fantastic viewing of five Hippos, two small calves, two adult females and an adult male, lazily resting on a small island until Southern Masked Weavers startled the youngest calf causing all five to immediately plunge into the dam and grunt their distaste into the warm morning air.
All of what was mentioned above and more can be seen whilst on drive. As you can see both Evening and Morning Safari can be full of nature. One must just remember that NOTHING IS GUARUNTEED IN THE BUSH…one must just listen, look, smell, and hear all that it has to offer and your drives will be just a fulfilling and fun as ours recently were!