31st July – Mpaya #1
Despite last nights lack of sleep we manage to get up early and we are greeted with a magnificent sunrise. Nothing can compare to rising at dawn in the bush with no one in sight, so beautiful and peaceful.
We soon set off for our game drive. We look high and low but we don’t encounter much of anything. The Mabuasehube pan is deserted. Khiding is deserted. At Lesholoago the waterhole is working and we see some springbok, wildebeest and gemsbok as well as a meerkat colony.
We return back to camp for some food and relaxation. The same winds are of course still present and despite the sun we feel cold. I try to eat some rusks dipped in nutella but it is hard to eat with squirrels on my lap looking at me with those huge enquiring eyes. They anyway feast on the crumbs. Perhaps I could give them something “healthy” – but they turn up their noses in disgust at the fruit I offer to dissuade them from eating rusk crumbs.
Later in the afternoon we prepare lunch, it’s pizza day today.
The evening drive produces some more bat eared foxes and another distant glance of the brown hyena. We also see some game in the road leading from Mpaya to Khiding.
We return to camp and we don’t need to wait too long before the brown hyena turns up for a drink at the shower, completely unconcerned with our presence.
I want to take a star trail photo with the A-frame in the picture, and the best place for the tripod and camera is near a bush close to the shower. This means that I have to guard the camera for 1.5 hours while it is taking pictures, just in case the hyena returns and thinks it is a snack! The result is worthwhile though.
During the night we hear a very welcome surprise – lion roars. They haven’t been seen in Mabuasehube for a while. We are pretty sure the pride is moving around and in the pans. At some point some are calling from the direction of the waterhole and some from the fringes of the pan. At one point two lions started to roar right from camp! We couldn’t see them but we did find their paw prints in and around camp the next morning. What a thrill! And the best was yet to come!