29 November 2017

This morning was my last drive for a couple of days, and I wanted to check out in the east to see if the lions and come back, but decided to check on Ntima male leopard and his kill first. In bright sunlight we headed off towards the area but arrived to find nothing – no leopard, no steenbuck, no wild dogs. How 24 hours can change a scene! Henry picked up tracks for a lone lioness coming from the south towards Giraffe’s Nest, and I made my way towards him to help as the Difference and Patrick started following on foot. A herd of buffalos and a wild dog disappeared into Kruger before I could get them, but with lions roaring to the north-east of where the trackers were tracking, I headed into that area, but soon found tracks for the whole Western Pride moving into our area and back form where they had disappeared yesterday. There were also tracks for wild dogs from earlier in the morning, so there was stuff around, but after driving around for over two hours, we had yet to see more than a handful of impalas!!! The trackers decided to leave the tracks for the lone lioness and follow up on the pride’s tracks – much easier tracking nine of them than one of them! Whilst watching two hyenas, Chris radioed to say that there was a lioness in front of the lodge, so we headed towards the area and soon found a fat lioness walking below the wall; she joined up with an equally fat young male lion and walked down our access road and drank at a pool of water in a rocky outcrop. It was clear that they had recently fed, and with the trackers still on the tracks, we thought that they might have had a kill north of the camp. The vultures however descended nearby, and when one of the lions walked a little further east, Henry followed and found the rest of the pride resting in the shade of a marula tree as one young male fed on the reason for their fat bellies…a massive buffalo kill! Some 30km of driving around searching, and all we needed to have done was drive 800m down the road from the lodge to have found them! Anyway, it was a great reward for a morning’s effort. A few questions remained – was the lioness the trackers were originally tracking from the pride, or just the lone Sumatra lioness? Which lion was roaring to the north-east? And how long will they be there for…the latter will be the easiest to answer, but it should be for a good couple of days. Some sad news though for the pride, the one pride male that we was in such a terrible condition last week was found dead on Ingwelala yesterday, so the pride is officially down to one male; a sad part of the bush, but after having seen him a few days back, death was the kindest fate that could have befallen him.

I will be back on drive on Friday afternoon, so will resume with the updates then!

Enjoy the remainder of the week 🙂