Fanus Shares from the Botswana Khwai, Savute, Chobe Safari: Lions Send Scavengers Packing
We made a beeline to Marabou Pan and the elephant carcass, and arrived to find the lions so satiated that they could hardly move. In spite of that they still guarded the carcass from from any possible scavengers.
We didn’t spot any hyenas in the vicinity, but more and more vultures arrived by the hour to gather in the trees around the pan.
The lions were so stuffed that each time they lumbered up to chase a vulture that dared to approach, they just flopped down again after a desultory, but effective chase – well it was sort of a chase, probably more like a waddle.
When a jackal, accompanied by a vulture approached together, the reaction time was ultra slow – and it wasn’t until both the jackal and the vulture climbed right on top of the carcass that one of the lionesses raised herself with effort, and lethargically shuffled over to the carcass to send the interlopers away before gravity got the better of her again and she slumped to the ground.
We left the pan to travel up the Savute channel to see if we could find any fresh or flowing water, but the area is still dry and is drying up daily.
This afternoon we returned to Marabou Pan. As we arrived we noticed some promising rain clouds building up. This would be very welcome as the area around the pan is very dry. A herd of elephants was at the waterhole, kicking up a thick dust storm as they crowded around the water, making some really good photographic opportunities. The lions were also partially hidden in the dust – great!
Then it began to rain – the first rains of the season. We welcomed each droplet, and although the rain didn’t last all that long, it made such a difference – and I am sure that the animals felt the same way.
Because everything was getting a bit soaked we returned to the Lodge where we are now seated overlooking the waterhole, enjoying our before dinner drinks and waiting for the first of the evening visitors to arrive at the water.
Tomorrow we would like to check on Marabou Pan again …
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