It’s Day 4 of 14 as a Volunteer Wildlife Monitor in iMfolozi Game Reserve
After only 5 hours of sleep as a result of a rather unsuccessful lion call-up last night, we headed out at 3h30 expecting it to be a long day. Lion roars waved us off as we drove to Mpila koppie for an extra-ordinarily beautiful scan over the area. We picked up signal for the Sokwezela wild dog pack and raced down to the riverbed, only to find that they were out of our line of sight.
Setting off to find the Crossroads pack, a bull elephant blocked our way and we saw this as a sign to take the more scenic route. We picked up signal for the Dela & Zeus pack and chased over spectacular terrain in hot pursuit, finding them just in time to count all 5 dogs before they disappeared (too quick to photograph unfortunately)!
Judging by the pace that they were running, we all agreed that they had to be fit and healthy. While rewarding ourselves with coffee, we were soon interrupted by an adolescent male lion that seemed to have followed the trail of the dogs, only at a much slower rate.
On our way to reset the camera traps, a second male lion blocked our way and set off in the direction of where we were heading – almost as if he knew what we had come to do. We followed him for about 20 minutes, passed the camera traps to make sure the coast was clear, and proceeded to complete the task that we came to do.
Driving back to camp, we discussed how, despite the slight heatstroke, we all felt extremely fortunate to have experienced another extraordinary day in the African Bush, and how we hoped we would catch the elusive genet riding the rhino’s back as we retrieved the data caught on the camera traps after the days’ eventful activities.
Text & Photos by: Gertzen Schlemmer
Wildlife ACT Monitor: Kelsey Hattingh
African Wildlife Volunteer Team: Gertzen Schlemmer, Michelle Schlemmer, Teun Visscher and Morijntje