After the excitement of the last night’s visitors, lion and hyena, we were awake early for another wonderful day in Moremi National Park.
Our first obstacle was to wake-up Pam who had opted to sleep in our car, instead of a ground tent. Not only did she close herself in, with all the windows tightly sealed, but had locked the doors as well. She really wanted to make sure nothing got at her.
It was not long into our drive that we spotted a game drive vehicle from one of the lodges, parked just a head of us. This was always a good sign; and this time it was no exception. A magnificent male lion was fast asleep in the open, less than 10m from the road.
With a growing number of cars making it more and more difficult to view the sleeping lion we left and continued our drive.
I have always felt when in the bush, it is not necessarily what animal you see, but what it is doing that makes for a great sighting. So even though seeing such a beautiful lion was absolutely amazing, after 15 minutes of watching him sleep was probably enough for me.
We followed the Khwai River and general game was plentiful on its flood plains, with plenty of zebra, lechwe, impala, elephants, hippo and crocodiles. The scenery was also stunning. This is one beautiful place.
I was driving in the lead when all of a sudden I noticed that there were no vehicles behind us – we stopped and waited – nothing. Had the others missed a turning, seen something we hadn’t seen or was there a problem. We went back to find out, it was the latter Tswinkie had got stuck in a patch of very thick sand.
Gavin who was traveling behind him, had very quickly pulled him out so we actually didn’t get to see all the action. One stuck vehicle, how many more would there be this trip. Traveling with 2 or 3 vehicles definitely has its advantage.
On our way back to camp I decided to go back past the lion, just to see what he was doing. As predicted he was still in the same spot, still sleeping. The nice thing though is that we were the only vehicles there, so we could position ourselves nicely to take photos.
Lions see a vehicle as just an object and this guy obviously has seen many, as he just slept through our arrival and clicking cameras. But as soon as we changed the shape of what he was used to, by me putting my head through our sun-roof and Jean following suit from their car, he got very unsettled.
He got up onto his front legs and his tail began to flick – not a great sign. I was about to drop back down on to my seat when I noticed he was focused on Jean and not me, so I got my video camera out.
He slowly got to his feet, turned away from us and headed for some thick bush.
At camp we were met with baboons scattering, they had totally trashed our camp. They had even unzipped Gavin and Jean’s tent and stolen food, a box of Rennies (heart burn tablets) and head ache tablets. Pity there were no laxatives in their tent.
They had jumped on our tent and broken a bar and bent another. We spent the rest of the day in a battle with them and some Vervet Monkeys. We would chase them away and they would just sneak back from another angle.
We even put out some left over breakfast, covered in Tabasco sauce, hoping this would put them off further raids. They just ate it, not comfortably, but not enough to deter them from coming again and again.
The extra hot sauce didn’t seem to worry the animals up there, as was also shown by this butterfly.
To be continued: What a day was coming up…