News
10 May 2017

I headed out on Wednesday with plans to go and follow up on the lions that have been hanging around in the north, and moved along the northern boundary to see if there was an sign of them, but as they were found very early on in the morning only a few hundred meters from where they had been last night, I altered my plans and moved toward the hyena den; only upon leaving did we see that the lions had actually paid the den a visit during the night, and walked much further than I initially thought.  The den itself was partially active and although not all the cubs were out, one of the small cubs was around and playing with the mother providing for a lovely sighting – some of the other older cubs were out too.  The lions had been doing nothing all morning, but as Kevin left them they came running past to the south and as Kevin followed up, he found the pride fighting over the carcass of a male impala that had no doubt been killed by a leopard, and thus attracting the lions.  I decided to go and see them now that they were active, and headed off to the dead impala I had seen in the area earlier the morning, but found no lions, and no Kevin; I called to ask where he was, and he told me that it was actually a different leopard kill about 500m west of where I was – not surprising considering the amount of rutting going on in that area at the moment!  We soon arrived at the lions as they finished off the scraps and became quite possessive over the little bits that were left.  We spent a lot of time with them and the pride soon moved off towards where the second carcass was, but got tired and went to sleep along the way, but not before of the younger lions got lost and they called to one another.  The other impala now lay about 200m away, and we stopped for a coffee nearby to see if the vultures would descend towards the carcass, and thus draw in the lions; as we finished coffee, the first vulture made its way down to join the tawny and bateleur eagles, and then one by one they arrived until several dozen white-backed, hooded, white-headed and Cape vultures could be seen feeding on the impala’s remains.  The lions surely had to see this?  After some good time spent with the vultures and no sign of the lions, we left, only to be called back two minutes later to say that the lions had arrived, but they were too late – the wake of vultures had ensured that there was nothing left of impala other than bones that the lions sniffed at, but soon moved away from to go and have a drink, and this was where we left them. 

My plans for the afternoon were to find some elephants and wild dogs that had been seen running around in the southern sections of the concession this morning – luckily a couple of herds of elephants were found near Mbali Dam, so we made our way towards them and enjoyed some quality time with them to tick off the first objective.  Carrying on south to where the wild dogs were lost this morning, we saw impala, waterbuck, hippos, nyala and kudu, but sadly no sign of wild dogs; it was only when we left the area that I was informed that they could be heard fighting with hyenas to the north of where we had been checking, but sadly it was all but dark, so we stopped for a drink at Elephant Dam with an elephant bull and a stunning sunset.  Robynne had been to see the two Sumatra male lions further south, and I was hoping that I would head to them too, but time ran away with us and we slowly made our way back to the lodge, not seeing much besides chameleon on the way home.



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