July 2009

20 July

We’ve been doing some walking with various very nice guests. Yesterday morning, early, we heard some lions roaring. In fact they were roaring most of the night. It sounded like they were about 4 to 5 kilometres away, so we jumped into the 4 X 4 and drove to where the road ended. We parked and crossed the Mushingashi River in the south. We found the lion tracks heading east towards where the roars were coming from.

It was still early and very cold and we moved slowly along a hippo path near the Mushingashi River towards the big Fig tree where Musango had said that they would be (he was absolutely correct). The grass became more dense and Musango said we should stop, although I wanted to continue.

Suddenly we saw the top of a lion’s head only about 20 metres away. I shoo’ed everyone back along the path to rethink. We had nearly walked into them, but fortunately we were being very quiet. About 200 to 300 metres from the Mushingashi and parallel to it is the start of the Miombo bush, which is quite low here. We decided to first retreat towards the west, then turn south to join the Miombo with the intention of creeping along in the fringe under some cover until we reached a point opposite the place where the lions were lying in the hippo path close to the Mushingashi.

We reached the point opposite where we expected them to be (about 300m await… nothing…  Then a head lifted up from out of the grass and the lion looked up. It was a lovely male and did not see us. Suddenly another head, and another, until we eventually saw 4 males. It was a wonderful sight and it was some time before they noticed us. When they did, they slipped in the Mushingashi river bed and disappeared, not to disturbed , I hope.

It was great to hear the roars, find their tracks and eventually to locate the lions and take some photographs. What lovely animals!

Leave a Reply