March 2012

it’s so nice to lie in bed and be able to see outside onto the plain behind the camp.

4 March

Lion moans early this morning (which I recorded). It was quite soft…and at 6.15, 2 or 3 lions appeared over the sloot from the room. They stood around, lay down and disappeared into the grass near the thatch. I saw one young male, lioness sized and guessed that the others were probably juveniles. They were lying about 110 to 120 metres from our hut. The young male looked at me for a long time, then after a while, lay down.

9.45 When John came over with tea, one of the lions stood up. They had been sleeping all along. I could see one’s legs in the air briefly as he rolls over. They slept through some fairly light rain. One of the lions started walking along the path that goes through the sloot, possibly to dring water, then turned round and went back to where it and others were lying.

10.39 The sun is out now. The lion gets up, and moves to some shade under a small leadwood tree, where he lies down, probably about 110 m away.

11.30 I am not sure whether the lions are gone or just not in view as the grass is quite high

05  March

Some lions begin to roar, from about 7 and at 2.30 am are, still roaring. For well over an hour, in the early stages of the night, an elephant fed near our hut, now fairly far away, now near, very near. Its breathing is clearly audible, tummy rumbles, branches cracking, sounds of chewing. I ssaw him in the moonlight once or twice, while I was standing still in the hut. I was worried about the solar panels in front of the hut, but they were OK. The elephant would retreat and relief would set in, but no, he’s back again. I tried to sleep but shot up from the bed when particularly loud feeding noises happened. It was a meter away from the wall of the hut rom all angles. Lions were roaring in the distance. I know the elephant is only feeding, so all is well, but all these noises still cause “A DISTURBANCE IN THE BLOOD STREAM” (Jim Corbett), and lead to my standing in the corners of the hut furthest away from the noises, like a statue…

07 March

Musango reports that Sherlock was there at the FLY CAMP last night, roaring. I hope he has been photographed on the trail camera…

04 April

The last four days in the camp have been lion filled .

31 March

Hans saw lions on a number of occasions on the same day and photographed one near our chalet (See Hans photos).

01 April

4 lions killed a baby hippo in the camp near the Wallow chalet.

02 April

In the morning, the staff discovered that we were losing water fast from the tanks. On investigating they found that the lions had been playing with water pipes, pulling one out of a geyser. When we arrived in the camp with three young English guests, (having walked over a kilomete from where they had left their car), one of them saw a lioness right in front of the lounge / dining room just as we were walking into the lounge. We all retired into the nearby kitchen, just behind the lounge, then I crept out and saw  Gypsey, a huge lioness walking across the front of the lounge together with  with a young male, We later saw the young male again from the kitchen ‘window’ lying down a few metres away.

03 April

This morning we went for a walk, to the north east. After an hour or so we heard lion noises to the east…growling and half roars. It was probably Gypsey chasing away the young male. According to Musango he is about 2 years old. Then we heard loud growly roars as we walked away. We could also hear loud roary noises from the south east as well as lion contact noises from the south. Lions in 3 directions. We walked to the hippo/party/anthill and waited there. We saw no further signs, but a small herd of nearby puku suddenly ran away. However we could not see the lions. Musango (our tracker) heard over the radio, from staff in the camp, that there was a lioness in camp near Weaver  chalets. (See the camp layout) We had to cross over a small stream near the chalet to get into the camp, so we waited. Some time later, we were told that the lioness (not the same as yesterday’s one) had gone towards the campsite. We headed back to camp.

Nearby lion noises when on foot are very exciting.

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