Elephant Down Under: Video

This is the resurfacing of the Mark attack… it’s been ages I know. Enjoy the elephant down at Malilangwe Dam, we could see them from our porch, a breeding herd numbering thirty five.

If Looks could kill

They’ve been quite destructive, pushing over an old Baobab tree on top of the hill and then tearing their way through to get to the water.

Bull Waders

Hiding in the bushes

Closer than you think

And that little speck on the lower left is me.

Wide on Mark

Wildebeest Crossing: Video

Ever had a situation where you feel life has thrown you a serious curve ball? Well, I should say when doesn’t life throw you a curve ball! (Feel free to post your problems, Doctor Markus is Listening)

Gummy Dogs

The funny thing is, the wild dogs must be feeling this way, because they put the “pedal to the metal” until they hit the western most edge of Hippo Valley and there they were stumped. This is the area that has recently been fenced and there is no way out. This might seem unfair, but Kim and I felt quite relieved they they could go no further. Not only are we traveling 45 minutes to get there each day, but any further and you’re in the sugar plantations – this would not be good for the dogs. Anyway, the dogs have been sniffing at this fence for four days now. They want out and they can’t understand why there’s no give in the fence line.

Wild Boundary

Each day they test the electric strands and get shocked into a frenzy, but keep coming back to test the limits. No harm done though, and life carries on for the dogs, but I just don’t think they’ve learned any lessons – poor dudes.

River Giraffe

Life along the banks of the Chiredzi River is vibrant, animals make a break for the water before sunset and it’s great to see the diversity of species. When we’re filming an animal we stick on their trail for months and we don’t see much else except what they come into contact with, not that this is boring, but an afternoon drive along the river refreshes the soul.

Hyaena Chew Stick

There was another hard shower of rain this week, which left us unable to negotiate the black clay soil on the Hippo Valley side of the reserve, and this left us with another opportunity to perambulate the rest of the property. Although, I had to eventually end up at the hyena, I hadn’t seen them for two weeks and I was getting withdrawal symptoms. I must say, it was as if I hadn’t been away, we all lay around Manyuchi Pan enjoying the sunset.

Growing Elephant Dung

Speed Freaks: Video

When the moon hits the sky like a wafer thin slice of pizza pie then you know… it’s a new moon.
I’m all sing songy and full of energy, I’ve been doing the 3:30 am dance to get to the wild dogs before they start moving.

Riverbank Wild Dogs

Funny thing is, I’ve enjoyed getting out there and doing something different.
A little variation in life can only be good. And it really was new moon… three days ago now.
Kim and I are putting a promo video together for the second wild dog film and I’ve been struggling to get on to the blog. I see the comments building up, thank you for all the responses.

The Hairy Eyeball

Those dogs are a hoot, but they take us through the toughest terrain. This can only mean one thing for me – punctures!
I feel like I’m working in a tyre shop, anyway, it comes as part of the package I guess.

Huge Leadwood Tree

The dogs were thriving down in the South of the reserve, killing between three and six Impala a day.
They have even ventured out the fence to hunt a few extra impala on the hunting concession south west of Malilangwe -
little poachers they are.

On rocky ground

Once the hunting was done for the morning and the dogs decide they’d tortured us enough through the mopane woodland, they then rested up at Chavagwisa Pan, this routine went on for a good week. This is the only water in this part of the reserve with the rains still holding out. The dogs take over the pan leaving the antelope snorting and grunting from the sidelines as they remain thirsty through the extra hot summer days. It’s a hard life near the bottom of the food chain.

Sad Looking Chops

Thankfully today the heat was squelched with a few light showers, but the dogs moved North and then across the Chiredzi River again, now the roads are too wet to get there. Let’s wait and see what happens, in the mean time I’ve been to checkup on the hyenas.

Roadside Lion

Hyena Walkabout: Video

It seems quite unnecessary for humans to have so many distractions in life, some which are pleasant and others that just waste our time.

Butterfly Blowout

I hope this year will be one with less of the latter and more of the useful ones, but more importantly just less distractions.

Intense Sky, Malilangwe

I think most people are back to the grindstone and gearing themselves for the long haul. I took the long road to find the dogs the other day while Kim was on holiday. We like to keep tabs on them to make sure they are still doing well. It took me two days to find them, but when I did they were up to their old sports and all eighteen dogs were doing well.

Wild Bite

For the wild animals everyday involves one thing – survival. The hyena cubs are growing up now and are beginning to stretch their legs, widening their territory as they explore the lie of the land.

Morning Laziness

This last year, I’ve had the privilege of being with the cubs as they’ve grown up, as each one developed their own personality and this year I continue crossing the divide between man and wild animal.

Morning Lie about

Join us on the adventure, make your life an adventure and invite others to come along for the ride.

I’ll catch you on the flip side.

Squirrel lookout

Lion Cubs on the Hunt: Video

Christmas Day has come and gone, I spent the day with family in Mutare and enjoyed the sunset in the hills.

Mutare Sunset

In case you’re wondering, there was no Chanel No. 5 to celebrate our anniversary, but a little form was shown with a sunset cruise on Malilangwe Dam where we spotted an Osprey having an argument with a Marabou Stork, the Marabou ended up with the fish, but the Osprey looked pretty determined to teach the Marabou some table manners.

Osprey vs Marabou

Banyini Pan has been drying up with the intense heat, but half a kilometer to the south is natural pan teaming with life. This is where I found a secretary bird for the first time in our stay at Malilangwe – graceful birds, always a great sighting.

Secretary Bird, Malilangwe

I also managed to catch up with the lions on Banyini one evening. Magwaza’s three cubs are out and about, they are joining the hunt now and outdoing the adults at times – when they can stop playing about and focus on the task at hand of course. One of the cubs pulled down an Impala calf, interestingly enough, the lionesses left the cubs to fight over the small impala on their own without interfering. There are so many young impala around it’s difficult not to run into them around every corner.

Impala Day Care

Holiday season will soon fade away, but for the baboons every day is a swing in the trees.

Tarzan Baboon

Happy New Year, rich blessings, stay safe!

Hippo Sundowners, Malilangwe Dam

Mopane Shredders: Video

After a week away from Malilangwe one is already home sick, the bush has a tendency to do that to a person, besides the concrete jungle has little to offer me these days.

Growing Hyaena Cub

I arrived back only to head straight to my hyenas to spend the morning chilling taking photos around a natural pan they’ve discovered. The light was amazing and it gave me a chance to try out the new lens I purchased (one of the benefits of the concrete jungle).

Glass Water

The mopane worms have come up out of the ground to feast on the healthy looking mopane leaves.

Mopane Ninja Warrior

You can always tell which trees have them in by the collection of droppings on the ground around the tree. It’s like guano, I wander it has any value as a fertilizer? Maybe one could make guano bowls out of it at least – then collect the whole set!

Mopane Worm Cluster

The bush is looking like a pasture, green and colourful. While the grass is still short it makes it easy to spot animals against the green background, like the two black rhinos we saw as we did the loop around the khayeni area, which I’ve been neglecting for a long time.

Black Rhino Stare Down

Christmas is around the bend and I did a little shop myself, but I can’t disclose whether I have actually come away with a gift yet. My wife and I will have been married three whole years on the 17 December, which I can thankfully say have been three great years!

Wild Flower, Striga Elegans

Maybe I’ll collect some wild flowers as a unique gift, which is also within the budget… or maybe I did manage to find a romantic streak and choose a Chanelle no.5 to complement the fresh smell of the falling rain.