The airstrip was quiet with the family of 5 jackal doing their thing. Some resting and others chasing after insects.
But the quiet didn’t last. A pair of Guineafowl took up the chorus and swore their abuses at 2 sleeping jackals. They paraded around them for about 5 minutes flinging abuse at them before moving away. I suppose they had a right to ‘terrorise’ them as the jackal had caught one of their friends a few days ago.
The little zebra family were up to their usual morning antics rolling in the little dust bowls scattered around the airstrip. Rolling is good for their health, helps stretch muscles and is of course just pure pleasure.
We had a report of elephants in the Makeche area. I was keen to follow up as I thought this was a different bunch to the ones we’d been following in the east. We picked up tracks and headed north across country. The clays here are now at least dry, but it’s rough going as they elephant potholes cover just about this whole area. And to add to this the grass in most of this area is about 8ft tall, so you really don’t see where you’re going.
Then I heard the commotion. It was the same as last year. The Quelea flocks were back in force and nesting. Moving around the colony only a few birds had started nest building, but I’m sure by tomorrow the colony will be alive with activity.
Having found a road again we passed a flock of feeding quelea that was just huge. The birds just kept coming and coming in their droves and disappearing into the grasslands. This was a huge flock, probably the biggest I’ve ever seen at Malilangwe. They’re back and will know doubt make a serious dent in the seed base.
Still on the elephants trail we eventually picked them up north of Chivi. It was Mandlovu, Chipfongwe and their family. There were also plenty other elephant in the area.
They were in that terribly thick bush, but with today’s heat spent most of their time resting in the shade. We almost had to wrestle with them to have our own bit of shade too.
I thought the quelea flocks would be at Hwata pan for their sunset drinks but that didn’t happen.
While waiting a lion roared from the Sickle-bush thickets close by. We tried to find it but the bush was just too much and the lion didn’t have plans of leaving the area.
We did and left soon after sunset.