Our American guests Fiona and Bill were having an extraordinary safari experience. In just two days, they had already experienced three leopard sightings, watched a pack of thirty wild dogs whipping themselves into a hunting frenzy and had close encounters with rhino, buffalo, elephants and more! All that was missing from their game viewing wish list was the King of Beasts.
Ranger Scotch and Tracker Patrick took up the challenge and set out looking for lions. Lion tracks had been spotted north of Tanda Tula, so that’s where we headed. As the sun started to set, we stopped for sundowner drinks in the dry riverbed, and plotted our next move. Just then, lion territory calls reverberated through the riverbed, sending shivers of excitement through us. Two big males were close by!
Moments later came the response; at least two more males just a short distance away. We jumped back into the vehicle in hot pursuit. With the help of the spotlight and the light of the full moon, we caught a glimpse of one of the big boys making his way into the riverbed, calling all the while. When the other two responded again, we were able to catch up with them just before the melted back into the bush. “It was even more exciting than we could have imagined !” said Fiona. “The sound of the calls , the chase and then to actually see them- absolutely exhilarating!”
By Jacquie Gauthier