What began as an ordinary early start in search of the dogs ended up a little extraordinary. It is not surprising that those wild dogs have moved off and disappeared like transparent phantoms in the night – without a trace. However, that did not stop me having a go at finding them, but my enthusiasm soon petered out when Kylie spotted some Elephant tracks in the road. I could hear that low rumbling sound they make. Soon we could smell their fresh dung and we knew they were close, but that does not guarantee anything in this thick bush. Heading East toward Chibi pan, I thought we might have been too late, so we parked and enjoyed some bird watching, which included: a Red-crested Korhaan, Three-banded Plover, a Red-backed Shrike and White faced Ducks.
For me, a really good Elephant watch has been scarce at Malilangwe Reserve and I really wanted to capture some of those little guys in the breeding herd. Heading south is like driving into an ocean of clay, so it was back to the main road out of there. Just when I hit the intersection, a midsized bull Elephant peeked his head out the bush…followed by a King sized big tusker!
They were a little weary at first with a succession of trumpet blowing and ear flapping, but then they let us be. We were surrounded by thirty to forty elephant coming out of the woodwork. The little guys were suckling on their mothers, while the entire herd indulged in some real graze for a change.
They were finding little mud pools from the rain and throwing the mud all over themselves, even rolling in the little pools. During the dry season they resort to browsing, but when the opportunity arises they really tuck into that grazing.
When they eventually made their way back into the thickets, we took a drive past the hill where Manyari was last seen and she was still in the area, we are hearing her call almost everyday now. We continued to the top of a hill overlooking Malilangwe dam – talk about ending the morning on a high note!