Monday, September 2, 2013

Just another day in Africa? Certainly not...


Our early morning game drive started out like any other...
Sunrise...

Tracker Zeb and Guide Craig checking out some leopard tracks.
We never found this particular animal

Our first sighting of the day...
A Wahlberg's Eagle fluffing up its feathers to keep warm in the chilly morning air

This herd of running Impala heralded the start of one of the most exciting interactions
 I have ever witnessed

They were running from this...
The Southern Pride...
We spotted them at 07h05

We stayed with them for about 10-15 minutes.

Until we noticed that these two vehicles had spotted a leopard lying on these rocks.
The group was less than 200m from the lions.
We joined at 07h13...

This female is 16 years old
and she had hidden her cub somewhere within the rocks she was lying on 

She seemed to realize that the lions were close by
and she kept looking in their direction.

Although old, she seemed to be in good condition

07h42: She decides to move...
Extremely slowly...
HOWEVER...

It attracts this lioness's attention...
and at 07h44 she moves in to investigate

07h49: The leopard decides that discretion is the better part of valour,
and climbs the tree.

07h52: The lioness has now arrived on the rock,
and is waiting for the rest of the pride to join her.
It is only when you get these predators together,
that you realize how big the lioness actually is.

They eye each other out...
Talk about a "hissy fit"...
In our vehicle we held our collective breath.
Would the lions attack?
Would they find the cub?
If either happened,
this interaction would not end well for either mom or her offspring.
But none of the lions seemed keen to climb the tree.

07h58: The lioness is now standing where the leopard had been lying,
just a few minutes earlier.

Even this cub wanted in on the action...
if there was going to be any.

08h04: Luckily the lions seemed to lose interest...
and almost as quickly as they had arrived, they left.
On the vehicle we breathed again.

08h27: We leave mom and baby to survive another day...
I was really glad that this interaction ended the way it did.
The thought of watching these predators fighting to the death for "no reason"
did not sit well with me.
I do understand that nature can be cruel...and that survival of the fittest is the only law applicable

08h29: We leave.
For all the participants, this story had a happy ending.
This is why I enjoy coming to the bush!


All these images were taken during a morning game drive from this lodge.
To find out more about this lodge and others in the Sabi Sabi group,
visit:
www.sabisabi.com


www.fedair.com


www.sablogawards.com

All images are the copyright property of  and may not be used without permission
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2 comments:

Caroline Hurry said...

OMG .. these pix are MAGnificent, especially the leopards ... i love Selati! Great post, Dave

Carola&Cesar said...

Beautiful pictures, breathtaking story. It's great to re-live that stunning morning in this page. We were passengers of the vehicle and we'll never forget that moment. Thank you David for putting it into words and photos.