A really cool morning greeted us as we set out – as always in the darkness just before dawn. Before we left we heard quite a commotion not far from the Lodge – there were alarm calls from different animals and hyenas that created quite a din as they tipped and giggled excitedly.
We headed to the sound and found a pride of lions feeding on an impala kill. And surrounding the lions were about twenty hyenas. The hyenas dashed back and forth, went closer and closer, taunting the lions.
The lions did not tolerate their proximity and retaliated with snarls, growls, swipes, and chases. It was so exciting to witness the confrontations and almost violent interactions.
Each time the hyenas approached to try and grab some food, the lions reacted by chasing them furiously. Then just as the big cats settled down to continue feeding, another hyena would slink close from a different angle. It went on and on, with the lions trying to eat while the hyenas harassed them again and again – and again.
We left to give another group a chance to witness the amazing interaction, and continued our game drive. We tried to track a leopard, but had no luck there. We saw elephants and rhinos while we were searching around and then were interrupted by a call about Wild Dogs.
The dogs were busy with an impala kill … and then unbelievably – the same scenario occurred! Hyenas arrived and the drama started! We watched open-mouthed as reinforcements arrived from his clan and a hyena cheekily went right up to the kill and took it! He stole it, and dragged it away! The noise, snarls, growls, chasing back and forth, dust everywhere, confrontations, bared teeth, and fury that erupted actually defies description. It was a battle of note! And quite terrifying!
We remained until our time was up and we had to return to the Lodge where we arrived still wide-eyed and almost shocked at the two furious battles that we had witnessed.
This afternoon we were much more relaxed and enjoyed the zebra, giraffe, elephants, rhino, impala, as we relished the peaceful side of the bush after that hectic morning.
Then we found a pride of lions. They were lazing around in the evening light and then the darkness. We were able to get some great photographs of them as we used our spotlights to capture portraits and for side or back-lit shots of individuals or groups. It was a perfect end to a phenomenal day.
In the morning we would like to return to the lions again for this group’s final game drive on this safari …