It’s Monday 16th May 2005 and the battle of the giants

Kim here, having returned from Durban and the Indaba travel show. It is so good to be home and back in the peace and tranquility of the Valley.  However, a recent gamedrive was anything but tranquil and I have asked Obi, who was the guide, to write a short account as it was so extraordinary we wanted a first hand account.

“It was Friday 13th and I took an afternoon drive with five guests who had arrived that morning.  Before we got to the pontoon we found a lone lioness chasing a young elephant of about 3 years old.  The lioness caught the elly from behind and managed to bring it down. We got to within about six metres. The lioness managed to turn the elly upside down, started attacking the base of the front leg and you could hear bones crunching. The elly kept struggling, fighting and yelling for help from the mother who was nowhere to be seen. We wondered how the lioness had managed to separate the youngster from the herd.

Jacob, who was my spotter, then saw the mother coming crashing through the bushes and tall grass at great speed. As a safety precaution I backed off a few metres onto higher ground so as to see from which direction the mother was coming but I could not see her. Jacob said that she had passed us but going in the wrong direction. I suspected that she was going after the other members of the pride because I did not believe that the lioness was all by herself. The ele was now bleeding badly and we did not think that he could possibly make it.

However, in the end he managed to get back on his feet and made it into a snow berry thicket dragging the lioness behind him as she had her claws in his back. The elephant then went into tall grass and we could just see him but not the lioness. Whilst all of this was going on two vultures arrived on the scene and took up their viewing point in a tree to wait for the outcome.  We continued on our gamedrive but returned to check the area on our way home. We found no sign of any of the participants so do not know whether the mother came back to rescue her offspring or if the lioness managed to finished him off deeper into the bush – nevertheless a truly amazing sighting”

lioness and elelioness and ele

Well all I can say is wow….it is always an extraordinary experience to witness these scenes and a reminder that we are here observing nature at all levels.  But hard not to involve our human emotions.   Slightly less dramatic but none the less great to see – the fishing parties are now in full swing. Simon managed to photograph yellow billed storks fishing at the new house site and reports from the Nsefu sector are full of the same. This is earlier than normal due to the lagoons being lower as we have previously mentioned, the park is very dry for the time of year.

yellow billed storks fishing yellow billed storks fishing

Also in the Nsefu sector, whilst on an all day picnic, guests had a lovely sighting of a threebanded courser. This pretty bird is normally nocturnal and at first sight it was thought that she was nesting. However, this turned out not to be the case and she had probably just been woken up by the vehicle! On the same drive a super herd of buffalo were seen – in fact there are quite a lot around in the whole of the Nsefu sector at the moment.  With just a week to go before both Nsefu and Tena Tena receive there first guests it looks like being a great time to come out and visit.

super herd of buffalo

Lastly, and just a small mention so as not to over excite Simon – wild dogs were spotted in the last few days by a group of guests out on a morning walk …yippeeee

Stay well and have a great week
Cheers

Kim

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