Our morning started off with a bang as another ranger driving in the same general area as me had seen 4 lionesses but then lost visual soon after. He gave us the general direction that they were moving in, and as a matter of fact it was 100% correct. We stopped at the junction where he told us to try and not even a few seconds later they appeared out of the bush. My guests thought that this was the best thing since sliced bread! As they approached our vehicle they made a sharp turn to the left. It looked as though they had seen something interesting in the bush nearby. We slowly backed off and turned the vehicle around to be able to watch them.

As we all stayed still and silent on the vehicle we heard a rattling sound in the bush. It sounded a bit like something running over dead leaves and branches. One of the lionesses crouched down into the stalking position. The other 3 lionesses watched their sister and instinctively knew that meant the possibility of breakfast. They tactically split up and moved in different directions in an attempt to catch their prey off guard. One lioness started charging like a lightning bolt into the bush, dust everywhere. We could clearly hear the alarm calls from the impalas nearby. We still couldn’t see the impalas at this point. We just sat back and listened to the action unfolding around us! We then saw one of the lionesses that had been running down the road trying to intercept the impala suddenly slow down and stop. It was too late. The impalas escaped with their lives and were granted another day at Kapama. Soon after all 4 lionesses walked out of the bush looking decidedly disappointed with their failed attempt. After this they vanished into a very dense area and we were unable to follow them. All of us knew that this was a question of “close but no cigar”!!!!!

Story by Eduan Balt, River Lodge Ranger

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