Elephant Plains Safari: Big 5 Farewell on our Final Drive …

News of the Day from Villiers:

(All images from back of Villiers’ or Niel’s Camera)

As we were about to leave the Lodge we received a call that meant a change in our planned direction – we headed straight to them and found an adult with three youngsters at a waterhole.


The was plenty of horse-play as they rolled around, creating a lovely scene as the sun rose behind them, with strong reflections in the water. One of the youngsters came to the waters edge for a drink, and we quickly snapped images of him as we don’t often get that opportunity.

So that lovely scenic start to the morning we pointed ourselves to the east, and within a few minutes we first passed a small herd of buffalo, then a young rhino bull grazing where green growth is starting to appear after the little bits of welcome rain we have had. While following the rhino we looked to the side and saw an elephant bull. Three of the Big 5 together!

From there we headed to Big Dam where we found the Tsalala lions next to a trough of fresh water that feeds Big Dam. The lions were resting there and drinking from time to time.

But of far greater interest to us was the activity at the buffalo carcass. A few White-headed Vultures and a Hooded Vulture had gathered. The hyenas had done a lot of cleanup during the night and the vultures had now moved in to grab the final leftover scraps.


Hippos entertained us as always in the dam, watched by a couple of very imperious Fish Eagles up in a tree above the carcass from where they could keep an eye on the dam and on the diminishing remains.

Salayexe and Tiyane came out – to say farewell – until November …