This evening was yet another eventful evening on the reserve. Four of our female lions were found on a zebra kill earlier in the day so we set off from the lodge to see if we could relocate them in the area. At the beginning of drive the lions were sleeping a short distance from the zebra kill. Their stomachs were full and unfortunately for us at that time we were only able to see the black backs of their ears in the short grass. So we decided to try our luck elsewhere and return a bit later to check up on them. As we drive away from the sighting we saw some wildebeest and warthogs. Then as we passed the next turning my tracker turned to me and told me to reverse as he thought he could see something lying in the road in the distance. Sure enough when we reversed and went to look there was a young female leopard in the road! With cameras at the ready and in total silence we approached slowly so as not to disturb her. Our plan worked and we were able to watch her and take some amazing photos. Soon afterwards she stood up and walked along the road, marking her territory as she went. Still maintaining a distance we followed her for another 10 minutes until she left the road and went into thick bush. Satisfied with our sighting we left her and went for a sundowner to celebrate our success. After a lovely drink in an open area with a herd of waterbuck grazing nearby and an African fish eagle perched on a nearby tree singing his famous song we decided to go back and see if there was any action at the lion kill. We couldn’t have been more fortunate with our timing. When we got there the 4 young females were lying in the road. As we approached the kill, an older female of 4 years old approached with her two youngsters. The 4 lionesses in the road promptly jumped up and ran back towards their kill. The older female chased them away into the bush. She seemed to have the upper hand – probably because the other 4 young lions were tired and bloated! She then patrolled the road whilst her youngsters fed hungrily on the carcass. Every now and then the mother would run into the bush and we would hear a commotion from the lions in the darkness! One of the other rangers had a fantastic hyena sighting and was also fortunate enough to see an aardwark. Never a dull moment at Kapama!!
Story by:Sarah Sangster-Kapama River Lodge Ranger