The Lion Pride Comes Together – to Hunt?

Dawie’s News from the Savute Elephant Lodge on the Okavango Savute & Chobe Photo Tour:
(Photos from back of Dawie’s Camera)

Because we heard lions calling close to the camp we immediately went in search of them when we left the camp in the cool early dawn. We found tracks quite quickly and followed them as far as some dense Mopanes, where we gave up as the bush was much too thick to even think of going through.

We turned back to where we saw the lions with the tiny cubs yesterday. We had no sooner arrived when the lionesses started to hunt. We followed them as they stalked wildebeest. We we close to the lionesses when we noticed that across the marsh the remainder of the pride with two large males had arrived to join their family.

Well, the excitement! The lions moved in and we were sure that they would cooperate by chasing the wildebeest towards the lionesses. The tension became quite intense. We thought that at any moment there would be action. But then, inexplicably the lions changed direction and strolled away, leaving the females hunting alone. But as the morning progressed it became too warm to hunt comfortably and the lionesses found a shady spot to rest during the hottest hours of the day.

We decided to locate the remainder of the pride and found them walking across a wide open plain. The two large males are in peak condition and looked really magnificent and very regal as they strode along. They then also chose a lovely shady spot where they settled down to sleep until sunset.

On our slow drive back to the camp we spotted a leopard on a rocky hill. We hoped that she would get up and look in our direction, but she remained asleep.

This afternoon we caught up with the lions again. The cubs were playing and rolling around, looking so very cute as they played their clumsy, adorable little games and then stopped intermittently to suckle and doze a little.

We moved on to a waterhole where a herd of elephants were drinking and splashing in the water. Out came our wide angle lenses to capture the herd together.

When we returned to the lions they were asleep, so we started our slow journey back to the camp. And can one believe it – on the way back we found the same leopard we had seen during the morning. This time she was awake, but partly concealed behind some bushes, and not in a good position for photography. So, we will try to find her again in the morning when hopefully she will be in a position for some photos …