First thing I normally do after waking up in the morning is to go over to the window to check what the weather is like. This morning however, it didn’t look all that great. Wind, drizzle, cold, overcast…is just a couple of thoughts which went through my head.  Off-course the show must go on, and I got prepared to go down to the lodge wondering if my guests would feel up to it to go on safari in this “challenging” weather.  Six o’ clock however all of us were ready to take on the elements. I am driving a family from New Zealand with two children, and before leaving I suggested that they take turns in sitting in front to get out of the wind, since they are quite small still and the dashboard would protect them from most of the wind chill.

We left the lodge and started south towards Nyala dam following the tracks of the elephants which was around the lodge last night. We came across a breeding herd of Buffalo and were “entertained” by a specific female who seemed as if she was trying to smile at us. This was quite peculiar and equally funny to watch as she pulled up her lips and showed us her teeth as if someone had told her a very funny joke… or maybe the effects of the weather got to her. Not sure. They eventually disappeared and we carried on further to look for the Elephants.

We eventually found them not too far away on Gnu Alley but unfortunately we did not have a great sighting as they were hidden away in thick bush most probably also trying to get out of the wind and weather.

We also tried following up on some lions which could be a very demanding task in weather like this as they typically seem to hide away in drainage lines or low lying areas to try and combat the effect of the bad weather. This time they out “smarted” us and after watching some White Back Vultures perched close to a dam wile having coffee we decide that we would head back to the lodge.

Normally bad weather do have a bit of an effect on our game viewing as animals, like humans, would also try to get out of the wind and cold, making it a slight bit more difficult to find them. This however would not ever stop us from trying, and as always if we do find what we are looking for it feels just so much more rewarding and worth our wile.

Japie Bradley

Ranger – Kapama Main Lodge