Elephant Plains: Two Clans of Hyenas Scare Each Other in the Dark

Andrew’s News:

We started with a wonderfully restful morning after all that excitement yesterday when Salayexe grabbed her kill in front of us …

 

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Sparring Impala, a shy Steenbuck –

 

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– and curious Starlings kept us busy for much of the morning.

 

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But the afternoon was quite different. After the new ODP Safari group arrived everyone was anxious to get started and what a packed afternoon we had!

First, a large herd of elephant drinking at a small dam was followed by a mud bath. As the mud sprayed everywhere, including on themselves, at times it looked as though it was actually raining mud!

Hearing noises nearby we went to investigate and found a bachelor herd of impala, sparring, leaping around, locking horns and with each trying hard to assert his dominance over the others. Now and again one would give in, trot away in defeat, gather his breath and courage and return again, singling out another sparring partner.

We were still enjoying the spectacle and capturing numerous photographs when we heard that Salayexe’s cub had been spotted, so off we went. We found her across a small water course.

 

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The cub is really growing into a beautiful young lady, and once again our cameras filled with images of the lovely young creature. We remained with her until she wandered off into a ditch, no longer visible to us.

Driving away from her we encountered a herd of buffalo. as usual they were attended by Oxpeckers, busily scurrying around for the tasty treats on the buffalo.

 

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By now the sun was beginning to set and capturing those evening shots of the large animals against the deep red sky proved to be an extra bonus for us. 

Heading home in the darkening evening we heard hyenas calling – and then another clan calling. We followed the sound and found one of the two clans loping around. Each time the other clan called, this clan ran away from the sound, then gathered together and called in return. Then when the other clan called again, they ran away again, got together and gave an answering call. This carried on until it really was time for us to return to the Lodge, amused at the hyenas’ antics and with our memory cards bursting with all the images from today.

Maybe we can try to find Salayexe and her cub again in the morning …