Patrick O’ Brien, renowned wildlife guide and photographer, was recently assisting us at Tanda Tula safari camp. Patrick has a knack of coming across exciting encounters, and it doesn’t get much more exciting than watching two adult lions have a go at each other.
Read Patrick’s words on his encounter below. The photos certainly tell the story!
By Patrick O’ Brien
The Mbande male lions were on top form this week and were seen patrolling the southern sector of their territory near Tanda Tula safari camp. One evening they roared the entire night and made it clear to all lions in the area that they are still the dominate males.
The following morning, during game drive, ranger Civilised located them and much to our surprise they were guarding two lionesses. These two lionesses were quickly identified as the Maubula lionesses which are part of a pride that we see frequently in the southern part of our traversing. With each male securing a lioness we thought we would have a chance to witness two mating pairs but the situation quickly changed.
One of the males advanced towards a lioness which appeared to be a move in order to solicit her. In no time his beg behaviour changed to a direct attack at her. The lioness in a defence manner turned on her back with her canines and razor sharp claws exposed in order to defend herself. She quickly turned from defence style to attack mode using her astonishing speed to strike the male which in turn realised that he was barking up the wrong tree.
The speed at which these animals moved from defence to counter attack is so fast that it is impossible for ones eye to capture the sequence. However, being a wildlife guide for several years one can often anticipate these sightings. I was fortune to capture the story in action.
Tanda Tula Safari Camp would like to thank Patrick for offering us these fantastic shots and for sharing his experience with us.
Tanda Tula Safari Camp is a luxury tented bush camp situated in the heart of the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve. Game sightings such as the one described above are truly memorable experiences and most certainly last a lifetime. At our Safari Camp we do our best to offer all our guests a true and genuine African safari experience, while at the same time respecting all the game in our area, and the African bush in which we live. For more such sightings, please feel free to read about them on our blog here: Tanda Tula Safari Camp Blog