Okavango Savuti & Chobe Photo Tour: Lions and Buffalo Back and Forth …

Brendon Reports from Savuti on the Okavango Savuti & Chobe Photo Tour:

We were up bright and early and eager to get started to check on the lioness from yesterday and to search for any sign of that leopard. But plans always change in the bush. The sun was just beginning to peep over the horizon when we left the camp and when we heard that two male lions with a large pride had been spotted.

We shot off towards the marsh, carefully checking any hilly outcrops for leopards along the way – but no! We saw none.

We picked up the male lion tracks near the marsh and followed these for a short while as they led us to where they were lying next to the road in a lovely open spot. It was quite overcast, with patches of sunlight here and there and patches of rain in others. The soft, diffused light looked perfect on the lions. The two males resting there together looked really majestic.

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We went on to photograph herds of elephants, lots of zebra as they migrate through the area, lots of wildebeest, tsessebe, and plenty of birds with raptors of all types like Tawny Eagles, Bateleurs, and Vultures. All of these added to our ever increasing hoard of spectacular images. We headed back to the Lodge quite late with so much to see and photograph.

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This afternoon we headed to some of the pans just north of the Lodge. We found lion tracks but lost them. There were numerous elephant breeding herds with small babies, some of which were just days old.

We headed south again to see the male lions, but on the way there we came across three adult lionesses with three youngsters that belong to the Marsh Pride. They were steadily approaching a large herd of buffalo, and we spent the remainder of the afternoon with them as they started to stalk and hunt.

It was thrilling to watch the lions as they patiently took their time to get closer and closer to the buffalo. It was almost evening when they sprang forward and chased their prey. The scene was chaos as the buffalo retreated, then regrouped and chased the lions back. The cubs scattered in fear, and quite wisely, while the adult lionesses turned and chased the buffalo again. The pattern repeated again and again as hunter and hunted swapped roles.

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The lionesses gave up, and although one, older and more experienced than the others was keen to continue going after their chosen prey, she also had to back away as she had no support. Maybe when the whole pride gets together again they will be able to hunt with more success … we plan to check at first light in the morning …