Elephant Plains: The Rainy Weather gives us New Insights and some Rare Opportunities

By October 20, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

From Andrew:

 

We left about 45 minutes later than usual this morning because of the rain. At first we felt a little dismayed that some roads were closed and off-roading was impossible, but the rainy conditions brought us some amazing opportunities that may not have been possible or that we may have overlooked in sunny weather.

 

After passing impala, zebras and giraffe we came across the Styx pride of lions. They were just finishing off a young zebra, and we stopped to watch the interactions between the four lions. As we watched the mother zebra came closer and closer to the lions, searching for her foal, and when she approached too closely the lions started to hunt her, causing her to turn and flee. Undeterred, however, she came back many times and as soon as she was close enough the lions gave chase and again and again she trotted away just out of reach. This continued until it was time for us to enjoy a cup of hot coffee.

 

During our coffee break we noticed that the rain had caused numerous small creatures to appear in the open area, and all had a great time doing panning shots of Dung Beetles and close-ups of Shongololos. (Millipedes)

 

As we left the coffee spot we found a female leopard walking down the road. She gave us time to snatch a few shots before she disappeared into the bush, and for once we could not follow her, but were pleased with the images we had grabbed.

 

By this afternoon the rain had lightened to a slight drizzle. Some amazing flowers have bloomed in the wet conditions and everyone practiced some flash photography with the water droplets on the petals and leaves.

 

Then we found a herd of elephants right next to the road where they had created a large mud wallow. What fun we had watching them as some dug into the mud with their tusks, displacing huge clumps of earth and making the mud wallow larger and larger. A few of the elephants were on their knees in the mud, playing and making a great mud mess, while others were lying down and even rolling around in the mud. The babies were frolicking around and spreading the messy mud everywhere. We remained with the herd, enjoying their obvious enjoyment of their play pit and of course hundreds of images were snapped in the time that we were there.

 

While we stopped for sundowners we could hear lions roaring not too far away. This always adds an extra thrill and feelings of awe when in the bush.

 

Heading back to the Lodge we spied a White-tailed Mongoose. He was very intent on something and when we drew close enough we saw that he was trying to catch a scorpion. We sat enthralled and watched as he snapped at the scorpion, then grabbed this way and that, jumping out of harms way with incredible speed and agility. Time and again we held our breath