I crept my way in through the Mopani woodlands east of Banyini Pan to park amongst the wild dogs. They had missioned all the way from Nduna during the course of yesterday morning and I was so glad they were closer to home that I had to go see them. Kim had already come and gone, so I just enjoyed the mild sporting and lazing around until the sun went down.
The lions were calling into the night and I wondered if I would pick them up in the morning. I began the day where I left off last night and headed straight to where the dogs were. The mist was lying heavy over the valley and the sun had made its appearance, beaming its rays through the cloud. I had to stop off and capture the sunrise. The wildebeest were sporting around and I’m not sure if they were chasing a young male out of the herd or if they were just playing games; either way, they can portray some interesting behaviour. Another great thing about these Autumn mornings is the therapeutic sound of the Magpie Shrike calling amongst their social groups.
I didn’t get any signal on the dogs; they must have bolted early this morning. I radioed Kim to get a position, but got no answer. I then heard the lions calling again to the east, where the dogs had been last night. They might have had a run in with the lions and high tailed it out of there. Turns out, they headed for the hills then made their way down into the Malilangwe Dam valley. I didn’t find any of the lions, but they were definitely in the area. I headed down past Chekwa Pan, which has dried up, then across to Hwata Pan to have a cup of coffee.
Out of the blue Sjambok showed his face, he was looking a little like he’d seen a ghost. I headed over, but he was so jittery that he made his way into some dense shrubbery. He continued south, disrupting a black-backed jackal in the grass and past a heard of lichtenstein’s hartebeest. They are clumsy looking antelope, then I thought they were stupid as well when I saw them trotting straight towards Sjambok – they were trying to chase him off, it was an interesting little incident to watch… and it worked! Sjambok continued on his parade and I let him be to continue with some bird watching.