We had seen the four lions on the evening game drive – Mother and three sons were feasting on the carcass of a large kudu. All this eating was obviously exhausting as one of the boys had to stop feeding to take a nap, using the kill’s hindquarters as a pillow!
At sunrise the next morning, two Tanda Tula vehicles set off together to see if we could find them again. Just as our guides and trackers walked down into the river bed to pick up the trail, a movement in the distance caught the eye of one of our guests. One of the young Machaton Pride males sauntered across the riverbed and lay down. The guys quickly climbed back into the vehicles and we approached. We could see his round, full belly, and that he was panting, not just from the heat, but from the effort of digesting that massive meal.
We advanced, looking to see if there was anything left of the kill. There wasn’t a trace; just the other three lions sleeping. After a short while, the first boy came to rejoin his family, giving his mom an affectionate nuzzle as he passed. We left them all slumbering in the sand.
Words and photos by Jacquie Gauthier