It appears we’re nearly up to speed again with technology. Yippee!
The lions were slow off the mark last night. So while they lay around I was on the ground next to my vehicle getting some pretty portrait shots. A couple of the lions watched me intently but then collapsed again. Then a young female, in a half stalk, came towards me. I was snapping away. She got to less than 3m and gave me a ‘bark’, which of course got me jumping, but I stayed put and she lay down right there and proceeded to groom herself. Soon afterwards a young male approached. He too was keen but didn’t try and intimidate me, just stopped short and lay down.
It was around 10pm that the pride got active. Active being very much a relative word. Half a kilometre on they were resting again.
About 2am they really became active heading east hunting. But there were only 5 pride members. Where had the others disappeared?
Impala were first up but scattered before the lions were even near them.
Further east a herd of buffalo were taken by surprise in the mopanie woodland. Without even a stalk, they charged in grabbing a very young calf. The buffalo were caught off guard and stampeded. But soon hearing the distress calls of the calf, the herd came charging back and chased the lions off the carcass. With several buffalo on the stampede the cloud of dust smothered them and us and no wonder several buffalo ran into the sides of our vehicles. They just couldn’t see anything. Nor could we.
The buffalo licked the now fatally injured calf, but other that there was nothing they could do except try and keep the lions away. Their efforts lasted only about 5 minutes and the lions had snuck back and stolen the carcass away. Now dead there were no more distress calls for the heard to respond to and moved away.
The calf was really small and not much more than a few mouthfuls for the lions. In all the confusion the 3 missing pride members arrived on the scene too. Then the squabbling started as they all fought for a seat at the table.
At Chivi I saw this Black Rhino bull with a herd of zebra and giraffe. Of course having spotted me the giraffe and zebra snorted and took of. The oxpeckers on the rhino alarm called at me. But the rhino ignored them thinking them to be alarming at the zebra and giraffe. I was eventually within about 40m of the rhino. He still wasn’t aware of my presence and was facing the other way. Wanting to get photographs of him, I snapped a twig and like lightening he spun, stared and then ran about 20m towards me. By now I’d already run behind a fallen over tree. In my haste to get away and not too sure of his motives, I was more concerned about taking cover. Luckily it wasn’t needed as he bolted when he realised I was there.