You might think that because we live in Kruger National Park, we get to see lions and leopards every day. Steven does more often than the boys and I do; he works in the bush after all. But for the boys and me it is a bit different. They still need naps and they love playing outside; Food needs to be made, washing needs to be done, bums need to be wiped. The same if we were to live outside the park.
So, we don’t spend each and every day in the car looking for animals. (Virtually impossible with the petrol prices these days even if we wanted to!) But, I still need my animal fix, so I take the boys on little outings in the park every other day or so. Sometimes just to go get an ice-cream in Berg en Dal, other times just because it is an overcast morning and I have a feeling the predators will be out. Like this morning!
Just after 7, we drove out our gate. (Which I now always close behind me to protect my veggies ha-ha!) There were a few cars parked on the Matjulu Bridge. All of a sudden, two male lions popped out from under the bridge! They were slowly making their way up the bank, so I decided to drive past all the cars and up the Matjulu loop dirt road to wait for them there.
I predicted where they would come out perfectly!! The first lion had a short tawny mane. He was looking extremely grumpy! Behind him, was a stunning full-grown male lion in his prime! He was absolutely gorgeous! Then a third lion popped out that I had not seen before. They went to lie down in the magic guarri bushes for all of us to see.
We spent the next hour with them. I had to bribe the boys with a lollipop or two. They are still a bit young to appreciate a whole hour of sitting in one spot, watching three lions.
It was really stunning to see how these two lions greeted each other. The lion with the fall mane looks to be older than the other two lions. Which is interesting to me. I was under the impression that male lions form coalitions with their brothers.
A couple stopped next to my car, just as I was handing the boys another lollipop. They giggled when I told them that is what I do when they get a bit gatvol and I am not ready to leave just yet. They told me they were leaving the park to go back to Switzerland and that this was their best lion sighting during the time they had been here. The gentleman drove right on alongside me and gave me two little soft toys for the boys. “So they can play while you are taking photo’s”. How sweet was that!! The gentleman and his wife will probably never read this but: Thank you!!! That was such a sweet thing to do! Alex and Jack love their little doggies, thank you so much!
After a bit of snoozing, some ‘male bonding’ and lots of yawning and just ‘lion’ around, the three male lions eventually got up, marked their territory and moved into thicker bush. But what an amazing hour we spent with these three magnificent animals!! One to remember!