The two nomadic male lions, who we have talking of often over the last month or so, have been calling for weeks to claim their territory. We hear them often in the evenings, much to the excitement of our guests. The sound of a male lion calling is something that stays with you forever, and even if you have lived in the African bush your entire life, you never tire of it.
It seems the these two nomads are ready to start a new pride in the Timbavati. The two have been seen repeatedly with a female from the Ross pride, situated in the neighboring Klaserie Reserve (for those that may not know, there are no fences between the Timbavati and Klaserie, and the entire Greater Kruger National Park for that matter).
While out on drive recently, we had the privilege of watching the mating taking place. As we approached, male and female lay exhausted, slumbering in the tall grass. We waited, knowing it wouldn’t be long until the next round as lions mate approximately every 15 minutes over a period of 3 or 4 days. Soon the male stood, yawned and stretched. He then walked behind the female, mounting her unceremoniously.
She appeared indifferent to the process, knowing it would be over in 30 seconds or less. He gave her a quick bite on the ear then moved off, resuming his position lying in the grass. Both closed their eyes to rest until the urge struck again.
What an incredible experience!
Words and photos by Jacquie Gauthier