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Dawie’s Update from the Namibia Landscapes & Wildlife Photo Tour:

What a fabulous day ..

After an early breakfast we left Halali Camp and took a leisurely drive along, stopping for any animal that caught our attention. And there were plenty. Among the Plains animals we saw Red Hartebeest, plenty of Giraffe, Springbok and large Zebra herds.

We arrived at a waterhole and sat there, watching and waiting to see if any different animals would pitch up for an early drink. We were the only humans there, and with our vehicle engine turned off all one could hear were birds twittering and a light breeze rustling a few leaves.

We were relaxed, looking around peacefully when suddenly a silhouette appeared on a ridge. That unmistakable shape – a lion. Then another – and another. The whole pride was there. There were two males with four females and three little cubs. They relaxed in the early rays of the sun, and watched the waterhole from a distance.

Then a herd of Zebra arrived for a drink. The lions looked up with interest, but no, they looked away again. A herd of Springbok arrived next. The lions looked up, but again there was no real interest. When Gemsbok and then Wildebeest arrived to drink, the reaction from the lions was the same. Only a perfunctory glance or two, followed by zero interest.

When the different animals had moved away from the waterhole we also took a quick break for coffee and snacks, but returned very quickly. We were not going to miss any action! But luckily the lions had not moved. They were dozing peacefully.

Until a large herd of Zebras arrived. I am not sure what was different about this herd, but they immediately had the lions focused on their every move. As the Zebras approached the waterhole the lions spread out in full hunting mode. Tension mounted. We could scarcely breathe! The excitement! The adrenaline! We could almost hear our own heartbeats …

The lions crept closer and closer … whew! We were sweating, cameras ready and trained on the predators! Then something spooked the zebras and they dashed away in a cloud of dust.

But that was not the end – a standoff developed. Almost three hours with the lions crouched, watching the zebras intently, while the zebras stared fixedly back at them. Each lion movement elicited a reaction from the zebras, and if a zebra so much as twitched a muscle, all the lions’ attention focused on that animal.

And so it continued – until eventually the zebras gave up, and left, thirsty, but alive.

The lions went to lie down and we thought that they would nap for some time. But to our surprise one of the males started mating with one of the females …

On the way back to the camp we saw a magnificent Kudu bull at a waterhole and Giraffe could be seen everywhere …

In the morning we would like to return to the lions to see if they decide to hunt again …

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