Our latest safari started today – and what an amazing start!
No-one could have wished for more.
We started from the Lodge and were enjoying the different birds (including an owl) –
and animals like a civet
when we encountered the Tsalala pride of lions. The five large cats had recently caught an impala and were eating as we arrived. We watched them and took photographs of the pride as they ate and interacted with each other.
When they had finished their meal they stood up – we realised that they would probably go toward a stream or small dam for a drink, and we started to follow them toward a nearby river bed.
The lions had not walked ten or maybe twenty meters when suddenly three of them lunged forward – and grabbed another impala. We could hardly believe it as the three caught the buck, and when the other two caught up an almighty ruckus broke out as the five squabbled over the impala. Each lion seemed to want to devour the impala alone while each of the others felt differently.
Amazing scenes developed as they literally ripped their prize into chunks and bits, each trying to secure as much as possible with snarls, growls, claws out and severe swipes as they tried to keep each other from getting more of the meal. We remained with the scrapping pride as they finished off their second meal of the afternoon.
When the impala had appeared earlier we had caught a glimpse of a leopard that had been chasing its prey – which ended right in the path of the lions. Now we decided to go in search of the leopard, hoping it had not moved too far away and that we would be lucky enough to see it.
And luck was on our side!
When we found the leopard we were able to use our spotlights to take photographs of the beautiful animal. Backlighting, rim lighting and side lighting produced some excellent winners for the group.
We returned to the lodge this evening hardly believing that we had seen so much on our first drive, and looking forward to our morning excursion ….