With our 05:30 wake-up call this morning came the realisation that this was our final safari and shortly we would be moving on to other adventures. Immediately on leaving the cabin and heading along the path towards the Lounge, we heard an animal noise that we both thought was a bird, so we happily continued. While enjoying a quick cuppa and chatting, we described the noise, at which point the Rangers advised it was a Hyena. Gulp! had we known it was Hyena, we would have retreated to the cabin and called the Ranger. Ha Ha! City Slickers and proud of it.All aboard at 06:00 and we departed for our final safari. Cedric headed up towards the airstrip on a hazy morning and within minutes we had spotted the pride of lions. Wow, what a difference in their behavior, no gorging themselves or lying around with bloated tummies; today they were alert and striding with purpose.
This is one of the 4 adult females and today she appeared to fill the role of leader of the pack. Here she is striding purposefully out ahead of the others, who were following behind.
It was very interesting watching how the pride operate, especially those following behind. Periodically the ones at the front of the pack would stop and lay down, while the others passed them. This process was repeated many times.
The leader stopped out in front of us, with the pack behind, which basically put us in the middle. She then started howling. Cedric figures she is coming into heat and this is her calling the males.
Above is one of the pack approaching our truck, but she took one look and continued ahead towards the leader out front. She walked past at a distance of 3 to 4 feet.
The next photographs show the young lions intently watching the leader.
At this point Cedric received a call regarding possible Cheetah sounds out close to the Kruger National Park boundary. Cheetah sightings are very rare, so off we went. Cedric’s only request was hold on.
For the next 30 to 40 minutes we raced along the roads at high speed, well definitely faster than previous trips. It was definitely a fun ride and way better than Disneyland. Arriving at the location Cedric advised that unlike lions and leopards, the cheetah doesn’t follow the roads, preferring to travel in the cover of the bush. We probably spent the best part of an hour crashing through the bush and creeping slowly along the roads, but alas, the elusive cheetah remained under cover.
Accepting defeat we retreated to a clearing to drown our sorrows with the ritual of morning tea, coffee and biscuits in the bush. Suitably refreshed we climbed aboard for the long trip back to the lodge and our final hearty breakfast.
This brings to a close our safari adventures for this trip, but what a brilliant experience and we couldn’t have asked for a better Ranger, Tracker or fellow guests, to share the experience.