A morning of lions and a reminder of how glorious (and finite) this beautiful life is…
We began the morning with a gentle cruise where we were treated to a wonderful viewing of three male kudus and some giraffe.
Shortly afterwards, we drove down from the plain and came upon a lioness with her face to the sun on the raised platform below which we were travelling. She called intermittently, a low sweet sound, and was soon joined by three cubs. Quickly though, once the cubs negotiated their way down the vertical, they moved off, into the bush below the road, down the river bank below.
Being unable to see the lions anymore, we turned around and headed north across the bridge. We soon stopped in a lightly wooded area alongside the river to view a woodland kingfisher. After taking a few easy pictures, we eased the vehicle slowly forward.
Within a few moments, the world exploded.
All of a sudden there was a rushing noise of chase behind us, then alongside us and then in front. All this in a matter of two or three seconds.
What followed afforded us an incredible sighting of two adult lionesses and three cubs by the river, which culminated in a dramatic kill of a baby bushbuck.
The bushbuck scrambled up a bank into the thicket and the female lion leapt into the air and catapulted herself down onto the bushbuck, bringing it to a thudding halt, knocking it to the ground like a single blow of a hammer. The others came fast from behind to join her. They proceeded to respond to the urgency of their hunger and the innate drive of instinct and began feasting. The growling among them was a like a bush acoustic, that called to me to video what we could now only hear. The kill came to its denouement out of view deep in the thicket of the bushveld.
It was the sort of experience by which even the most sceptical and hardened of city slickers would have been thrilled, shaken and stunned. A dramatic and poignant revelation of the glorious life, and the unstoppable death, given to us, by the bush.”
Story and photos by Kapama Karula guest Melanie Jones – 2nd Stay – September 2018
Post courtesy of Kapama Game Reserve