Tailormade African Safaris by the Safari Legends
To the south-west of the Wilderness Safaris concessions in Hwange National Park lies a huge open vlei that reacts to the moods of the seasons. This is Ngamo. Its moods are mostly affected by water: the lack thereof, or the abundance thereof. There is hardly ever any middle ground. From an extremely hot and life-leaching dry season the rains are now showering on Zimbabwe. Whether you believe in climate change or not, one thing is noticeable, the seasons seem to have shifted out by a month so now we are in the eye of the storm. It is refreshing and rejuvenating.
But it is not so pleasant for big hair. The frizzing manes of the new young lions padding around Ngamo evidenced this. How fabulous – they also have ‘rainy hair’ issues! Mike got some absolutely spectacular shots of them shaking their massive heads from one side to the other to liberate the offending water droplets. You can see if you look closely that when the rain was not pouring down, the moist drying action left their fringes in a curly tangle of frizz.
Despite that, these two boys are quite handsome and their coalition has chased the lion Xanda out – Xanda was Cecil’s offspring. There are four females in this pride yet at this stage, no cubs have been seen. It is going to be interesting to see how the pride gets on now with fresh genes in the melting pot. They seem completely comfortable at Ngamo and are able to spread themselves out over the vast plain.
On one occasion, the wildebeest – who can appear to be quite mad and go from standing grazing, to wildly running around in no particular direction for no particular reason – ran en masse in a big herd of mothers, babies and boys, straight onto the lions. This caused the wildebeest to bombshell frenetically in all four directions. Luckily for them, the lions were lazing around in a half dozy, drowsy sleep-state and appeared totally disinterested in the ‘meals-on-wheels’ opportunity that had just presented itself.
The new young males don’t have names at this stage. Hopefully they will hang around long enough to become well known and perhaps start a new lineage of Ngamo lions. We wait and watch with interest.
Written by Marian Myers
Photographed by Mike Myers
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