Just a perfect day,
Feed animals in the zoo
Then later, a movie, too,
And then home.
Oh it’s such a perfect day,
I’m glad I spent it with you.
Oh such a perfect day,
You just keep me hanging on,
You just keep me hanging on.
We started off with an early bush walk. I was kind of stressed first, thinking we could run into the ‘king’ – it was our last day and I believed in good (!) karma. Well, I was both right and wrong.
The bush walk was OK, we analyzed some elephant and giraffe dung. Elephant dung was very dry, that was surprising. And giraffe dung looked like a small black bead, though one side was kind of flattened. The reason is the dung falls from such a height that once it falls one side flattens with the impact. Imagine! (We ran into a giraffe family on foot, and I guess they are the tallest creatures I’ve ever seen.)
So far so good with biology and habitat literature, off we went to look for the ‘Ngala’.
We’d been hearing this ‘Ngala, ngala’ in between conversations but we weren’t given any clue until the last day. And the reason was they haven’t been seeing any ‘Ngala’ those past weeks. Shame! But you know, I said karma, good karma.
Our ranger got a message from the radio and immediately we were driving to a meeting point. It was still early in the morning, around 8 AM I think, but it was already so hot, and all was so still. When it”s hot, especially during daytime, the animals tend to rest or sleep, wait for the weather to cool off and hunt in the evening. So we were getting curious, really curious.
We stopped among the bush after driving for 10-15 mins where we could see another 4WD from another reserve. That should be the other group we had taken the tip. It was all dry bush around with some trees. All seemed yellow and dry.
There was the yellow mane.
And the breeze through.
We had found the three young lion brothers who had been hunting in the area but gone missing for sometime. Oh they were magnificent, yes, they were so magnificent!
We learned that one was injured in the leg, he was limping poor thing but he looked so proud even like that. We left them resting and falling to sleep praying that we’d find them again in the afternoon drive.
Our ranger & tracker team worked really well in the afternoon not leaving anything to chance. We found the three lions still sleeping and yawning at another area. While driving there we passed by some buffalos heading in their direction. Wuhhuw! That could mean some action!
The lions first sat up, then slowly, very slowly stood up. The injured one was still sitting and waiting. The healthy two started looking in the same direction and their tails started to pound to their backs with a very circular move. I think they were signaling to each other that their dinner was on their way! They neither hurried nor hesitated but attacked right when the buffalos entered their territorial zone. The healthy two ran fast behind them causing chaos and raising dust but unfortunately the injured one didn’t get up in time so they couldn’t tuck them in a circle. Shoot! They missed their BIG opportunity.
One of the healthy ones came by the injured one and roared at him so bad we said he’s picking a fight. Well, he didn’t but everyone got the message. The injured one was punished, left alone on his own. The other two stuck together and sat down further in the area. Only 5 minutes passed and the angry one came back. He rubbed his mane against the injured one, kind of cuddled, played for a sec or two, and sat by the guilty one showing him that it was OK and he was forgiven.
Amazing social animals are these lions!
They made our last day in Motswari a dream come true.
We had done the Big 5.
And it had been such a perfect day.
Tomorrow, destination Swaziland!