The rains just keep coming.
I had planned on getting out at dawn but the heavens opened around 4am and it rained for about an hour really soaking the place again.
It was pointless trying to drive around on the soggy soils so Penny and I took a walk around the Malilangwe dam. It just feels so free and magical walking in those shallow waters and Penny was all about collecting feathers.
Feeding in these same shallows were flocks of White-faced Ducks and plenty Egyptian Geese. The adults took off across the water doing their ‘broken wing’ display giving their many little ones time to get away from the ‘danger’.
I later went kayaking around the dam. I so love the solitude of being on the water, although it wasn’t so peaceful as I had to keep a watchful eye on the hippos. I haven’t paddled on the dam in summer, it’s usually been winter. So I was pleased to see how relaxed the hippo were with me paddling on by. I thought it must be that the dam is now a lot fuller and they have plenty of grazing and so were chilled out.
That was the case until I passed the last hippo. He launched himself out the water and came straight towards me ducking under the bow wave he’d caused. Although he was underwater I could see he was still beaming down on me as his body produced a bow wave on top of the water. Luckily I was able to paddle away and he soon lost interest.
It was only after the sun had been out several hours that I chanced it and took to the roads. Many were still flowing but had a firm base. That was so long as I stuck to the hills.
While filming I heard the distress calls of a buffalo bull in the distance. About a kilometre away I found this male lion had downed a huge buffalo bull. Actually I had just seen this bull when on my way to Banyini. As the bull struggled another male lion joined in and went straight for the stranglehold. He was soon muffling the bull’s distress calls.
As I approached closer the one lion ran off obviously nervous of the vehicle. He returned a few minutes later.
But when I moved a second time and the lion moved off the buffalo regained his feet shaking off the other lion. Already the first lion had chewed through the tendons on his front leg and the bull could only hobble but even so he managed to keep the lions at bay.
Then the stalemate. The lions watched as the bull stood there. An hour later there was no change.
All this time I had to film using my spotlight as Darryl wasn’t around with his lights. This was hardly adequate and the bush was thick. Added to this the lions were nervous and a storm was approaching, so I left the scene. No doubt the lions will down the bull in the night and I should find them at dawn if they are successful.
These are the same lions that gave Nduna a hiding a couple of months ago. They seem to be moving further east onto the reserve, which means they will soon come into contact with Nduna again. Will they take over the pride? Or will they form a new pride with Manyari and the youngsters she seems to have broken away with?