On heading out this afternoon the elephant were south of Banyini, so no chance of them swimming at Simbiri.
I cruised around Banyini and in the last half hour of light found these giraffe fighting. The light was perfect and these bulls were pretty serious about giving each other a hammering.
As the sun set I changed angles and filmed them in action as silhouettes.
I had Darryl come with the lights and was waiting for it to get a little darker to film them with lights and the orange glow of dusk, but the dudes didn’t read the script and wandered off.
Then it was the elephants turn as they arrived in their hordes to drink at Banyini in the last light. Filming their silhouettes against the glowing orange water, they just kept coming, herd after herd. I suppose at least a hundred elephant drank here tonight.
In relays they drank and totally relaxed, those already quenched stood around my car.
This is totally different to the situation when they drink here in the daytime when they’re easily spooked just from feeling vulnerable in the open.
I thought some of the bulls might head north to swim at Simbiri dam but instead the herds kept to feeding in the mopanie woodland on the north and east of Banyini.
We moved on searching lion activity in the west and all I came up with was this Chameleon shedding its skin. I came back again in the morning to get more photos of the guy.
Chameleons are actually easy to spot at night and yet impossible to see in the day as they’re so well camouflaged. At night they usually go a light green colour and when lit they look almost white so standing out from the foliage they’re resting on. Last night I must have seen at least 20 of them.
Then it was back to Simbiri still hoping the elephants would move in. While waiting we heard hyaenas giggling and found 8 hyaenas on a territorial patrol. They moved south on the ‘Chimize Highway’ running at lope most of the time only stopping to mark at their latrines.
It’s amazing how much terrain these guys can cover in no time at all and soon lost us as they took off into the 6ft high grass near Hwata.
Just being with hyaenas again for about an hour was so so cool for me. I haven’t worked with the guys, well actually girls, for some time now and they’re always so interesting. Just getting to know they whole social system is fascinating.