Sarah-Estelle Sangster

A rough day for the lions!


This morning as we set off for drive we first saw a herd of zebra. As we were watching the zebra we heard some buffalo not too far in the distance so we decided to track them down. As we came around the corner we saw some of the herd but we could hear the rest further south from our position. As we continued along the road a huge group of buffalo were blocking the path ahead. They were extremely closely packed together at the base of a marula tree looking upwards and to our delight we saw a young lioness perched precariously in the fork of the tree. We also saw tracks of her three sisters moving away from the area. We can only presume that the lionesses were chased by the buffalo and she jumped into the tree for cover whilst her sisters managed to escape the stampede! Her tail was hanging down from the tree just inches from the buffalo who definitely had the upper hand and seemed intent on trying to force her from the tree. Sensibly she stayed put until eventually the buffalo moved away from the area. As soon as the coast was clear she made a quick getaway, jumping awkwardly from the tree. We followed her in the hope that she would lead us to her sisters. As she walked she was making contact calls to try to locate them. Eventually she found them and they went to get some well deserved rest in a shady erosion area. But the excitement for the lionesses was not over for the day. This evening one of the rangers relocated the lionesses early in the drive. We found the herd of elephants highly mobile in the direction of the lionesses. Once again the young lionesses were chased away – this time by the elephants! We struggled to them but eventually found them an hour later. As we followed them through the bush they stopped at a warthog burrow and poked their noses inside one by one to see if the occupant was at home. Luckily for the warthogs they were not in the burrow. The lionesses continued on their mission and as we left them they were on the way to one of the dams close to the lodge. On our way back to the lodge for dinner we came across a serval hunting in the long grass. She was unusually relaxed and presented us with a rare photo opportunity! 

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