Okavango Machaba: The Lions Kill – Again!

Brendon Shares News:

It was quite overcast when we left, and pretty soon we found two hyenas very close to camp – probably checking if anything was left from last night’s kill. We got some good shots under the spotlights and used the lights again when we found more hyenas a little further on. In fact, we had arrived at the hyena den, and could hear pups, but they were nowhere in sight. A large network of holes in the ground was guarded by two adults, and they probably warned the pups to stay put while we were around.

The birdlife is as spectacular as always – and going from small to big, Grey-headed Kingfishers were busy over a stretch of water, and a beautiful Fish Eagle flew close enough for full frame images.

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A large elephant bull wandered into an open plain where he stopped to feed, and when we decided that we had taken enough photographs it was time to check on the lions from last night.

We found them in thickish vegetation, the lushness of which made for good photography. We practised some interesting shots with out of focus leaves around their heads before we headed back to the camp for lunch.

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We went straight back to the lions this afternoon. Surprise! In spite of the kudu kill last evening, the lions had made another kill while we were at lunch. They were finishing off a warthog.

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We spent the afternoon with the very active pride. Their interactions kept us enthralled.

Two young adults started a lengthy game of ‘who can keep the warthog head the longest’. They ran back and forth, ambushed each other, and growled ferociously as each tried to wrest the head from the other. The victor sprinted away, with the loser close behind. A jump, and both were wrestling on the ground. More fights, and another dash. Both forgot about the head after a while, and continued their sparring. Up on hind legs, claws interlocked, they pushed, growled and shoved.

The boisterous game continued until sunset, giving us an incredible number of fabulous photos.

After sundowners we were delighted to find a Giant Eagle Owl in a large tree. After many spotlit photos we moved on – and found a pair of them in another tree!

It was the night for owls – before reaching camp we also photographed a little Scops Owl.

There is a bright moon tonight and the stars are glistening as we settle down in the moonlight for our dinner.

We plan to check on the lions as soon as we leave in the morning …