Lions are the iconic animals for most visitors to Africa and the most visitors will have the opportunity of seeing them on game drives, but at times it is the looking for the Lions that is the highlight.
Roars into the Dawn
First light was caressing the horizon as we silently sipped tea and coffee around the fire, each tied in our own thoughts and emotions. Reluctant to break the moment I nevertheless got everyone onto the vehicle and we set off through the Kalahari apple leaf trees on our way to the marsh. During the night I had heard a lot of Lion activity from the direction of the marsh and I wanted to find out what was happening.
We came across a Hyena ambling in the road from the direction of the camp. It was the same one that had been scavenging for food in our camp during the night. He picked up to a mild run as we got closer and finally left the road and disappeared into the bush.
The marsh was caught in the dawn, the bare earth shimmering and silhouetting the dead acacias. I turned the motor off and listened. It was quiet, the quiet between night and day, with only the fading stars seeming to cry out as they disappeared into the sky.
Tracking the Lions
We found the Lion tracks on the road heading toward Marabou Pan. The tracks were of two males and looking at them closely it was obvious the Lions were moving fast. With a heightened sense of excitement we followed the tracks. At intervals there were signs of contact. Thinking back on the roars last night I thought that the lions may have been fighting and the tracks bore this out.
After a while the tracks disappeared into the Mopane. We had lost the Lions but the story of their nightly prowls was as fascinating as seeing them.Leigh Kemp