Lions

November 4th – Day Forty One

Today was much like the previous with morning and evening game drives separated by relaxing and writing at camp. The morning drive was mostly uneventful except for a part near the end we came across a lioness lounging near the side of the road. As she wandered back into the scrub we saw two little heads pop up to greet her, she had two cubs hiding in the bushes. We watched them for a while but they were to far away to get a good photo, even so it was good to see them. I spent more time writing at the camp site bar and then in the late afternoon a few of us got ready for another game drive. To try and prevent the disappointment of the previous evening drive I wandered over to reception and consulted the camps sighting book. A few people had written of lion sightings near the Okondeka waterhole so I asked Charles if we could go straight there. He said that was where they had been the day before but he was happy to drive if that’s where we wanted to go so off we went.

An oryx seen on the morning game drive
An oryx seen on the morning game drive

A relaxing lioness
A relaxing lioness

The drive out to the waterhole was taken at speed (or as much speed as was allowed in the park) and we passed hundreds if not thousands of plain game along the way. It seemed that as far as we looked in any direction there were wildebeest, impala, springbok and zebra making up vast herds that dotted the flat around us. The nice late afternoon life and the herds on the yellowed grass were the closest I’ve seen to the ‘tradional’ view of Africa given in all the wildlife shows on television, you could almost hear David Attenborough commentating in the background.

The Etosha pan being crossed by wildebeest
The Etosha pan being crossed by wildebeest

The Okaukuejo book entries turned out to be fantastic pieces of information and we spent the whole of the remaining afternoon pretty much rooted to one spot watching a pack of around twelve lionesses and cubs relaxing under a couple of small trees and along a ridge adjacent to the road. We were also specially treated to two of the lionesses padding down in front of the truck and across the road to go and have a drink, wandering back up behind us to take their places on the ridge once more. If was a fantastic sight and we were all happy we had decided to come along sure that everyone who hadn’t come would be jealous when we told them what we had seen. The light started failing as the sun began to dip down behind the ridge so we headed back early to try and catch the sunset at Okaukuejo.

Waking up to go get a drink
Waking up to go get a drink

We spent a lot of time at the waterhole watching similar events to the previous night after the sunset and dinner. Again their were elephant and rhino though this time there were seven rhino in total with a number being very young. The arrival of lions bought an edge to the evening and both the rhino and elephant took turns in attempting to keep the lions away from both the water and the young animals present. The same grumpy elephant from the night before was again using his weight to bully other animals away, at one point taking a break from drinking to spray the rhino and giraffe to his right in an attempt to get them to leave. It was all fantastic viewing but eventually the calling of our beds persuaded us that enough was enough and it was goodnight.

Lions drink while elephants worry
Lions drink while elephants worry

A giraffe at Okaukuejo joined by the moon
A giraffe at Okaukuejo joined by the moon

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