Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Lions and Buffalo - and some Elephants

The Lions Arrive
Poniso, our guide, and I were contentedly figuring out that the little bird we saw was a southern grey-headed sparrow, when Linda quietly said, “Lion!” All thoughts of the bird vanished as Poniso sped down the road towards the female wandering across the road about 100 meters ahead. She was soon joined by a half dozen younger females and cubs including a couple of males starting to grow their manes. They were apparently heading towards the river, but after a few moments, they started to settle under the shade of a tree by the road.
Note the Growing Mane
Another Arrives
And Two More

Relaxing - If Only for a Moment
All of a sudden, one more female tore across the road and the rest were up and gone towards the river before we had a good chance to see them leave. 
 Poniso supposed it was a male who was chasing them, but he was proven wrong when three cape buffalos came out of the bush after the lions.
Cape Buffalo
And Scary
They followed the lion’s path to the river, so we reversed our path and headed back to the river ourselves where we were soon joined by other vehicles enjoying the evening spectacle. The lions mostly rested in the evening sun while the buffalo blithely forgot the lions were there.
Looking at Us
Powerful Legs
One lion, however, did take an interest in the buffalo even though they had obviously eaten recently. As a young female, perhaps she wanted the practice. We watched her slowly and carefully approach the buffalo from downwind while the buffalo enjoyed his time at the river. 
Having a Drink
Beginning to Stalk - Note the Cattle Egret on the Buffalo's Back

Then the elephants arrived from out in the water. They were done with their evening drinking and ablutions and ready to head inland.
Elephants Arrival
Buffalo Begin to Leave
 When the buffalo saw them, they decided it was time to leave, too.
The Lion is Hiding on the Right Edge of the Picture - Click to Enlarge

The Buffalo Notices
The stalking lion tried to show she was serious, but her half-hearted chase belied the intent. 

We headed home for dinner.
Here is a video Linda shot with her iPhone.

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