Lions and a Stroppy Elephant on Laundry Day!
It is day 8 of our 21-day lock-down in Kruger. Our laundry hampers were overflowing so this morning early I got permission to go to the Laundromat once again. I have to be honest with you; I look forward to my bi-weekly trip to camp to do our washing. And I always hope I see something nice as a bonus along the way. Well, this morning’s trip to the Laundromat certainly did not disappoint. I got to see lions on laundry day!!
It was overcast and cool in Kruger this morning. As I was slowly making my way to camp, I was scanning the bush for animals. I passed a herd of elephants, impala, a few giraffes. And I had to zigzag my way through heaps and heaps of elephant dung when I saw two tawny shapes on the side of the tar road in the distance. Lions!!
I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t matter how often I see lions, I always get very excited when I see these big cats. There is just something about them – about all of the big cats in fact. In this day and age, you very seldom have lions all to yourself. But now that we are in lock-down and Kruger is closed for visitors, I got to spend time with these lions all on my own.
The big felines noticed my approaching vehicle and the noise of its engine straight away and were looking at me as I inched forward. But they quickly relaxed as I parked and switched the engine off. So much so in fact, that both the male and the female actually dozed off with me stationary right next to them. I was in awe. It was already past 8 in the morning. A time where you normally would not even dream of finding lions in the road, but with the absence of traffic, they were still enjoying the tar road.
The camp was once again deserted. While the two washing machines were running, I sat on one of the benches at the dam. Waterbuck were relaxing and chewing the cud at the water’s edge. Egyptian Geese were making a big scene for some reason and were screaming at the antelope that were looking a bit puzzled. “What is the commotion about, dudes?” Blacksmith lapwings were calling as well as a few francolins in the distance.
I did not see a single human being on my expedition to the Laundromat today. It was the weirdest thing. It kind of made me feel like I was the only person on the planet for an hour or two. The things end-of-the-world movies are made of.
On my way home with my clean clothes and towels, I did not get far from camp when there was a big elephant bull in the middle of the road. I could smell him a mile away. He was clearly in full musth. And he was not going to give way and let me pass. I am generally not really scared of elephants in the road anymore. I do, however, have a healthy respect for bulls in musth, so I backed up and gave the musky smelling elephant some space.
That resulted in me reversing for a good kilometre before I could back into the turnoff to the compound. There I waited for Mister Elephant to pass. I waited. And waited; Peering through the scrubs on the side of the road for a moving grey shape. Nothing.
Next thing I know the elephant pops up from the thickets right next to my window! The bugger! I am sure he did that on purpose! Haha. Anyway, with the tar road elephant free once again, I could continue my way home. Ahhh, lions and elephants… I absolutely love them!