It’s Monday 8th October and lion vs wild dog!

I do hope that you are sitting comfortably after a lovely weekend and ready for the thrills of the week ahead. Let’s get you off to a good start and get you going with a rather exciting account from Mobiles (our Mobile Walking Safaris). Incidentally before I pass you over to Michael for this week’s news, may I just give the sad news that this will be the last news from Mobiles for the year, as the season has already come to an end. It has whistled past and has been an incredible season up on the Mupamadzi River with sightings like we have never had before. Anyway, enough from me; let’s hear first-hand from Michael…

“As is the usual case with Mobile Walking Safaris, it’s always action packed. And I mean action packed.

This safari, which Kanga was leading, got off to a flying start with a pair of mating lions at the sundowner spot on the first day! The second evening saw us sipping on G&T watching a tower of 7 Giraffe as the sun dipped below the horizon. Not forgetting the countless wonderful sightings that the guests had had during the day.

 

Then on the third evening, things really got exciting! I have to go back a little bit to give you some perspective before the story can really begin. After getting everyone’s sundowner orders before they leave camp on their afternoon walk, myself and Shadreck pack the Tank and head out to a spot that Kanga has decided upon. On this particular evening it was ‘Georgina’s’ spot (not sure why it’s called that, maybe someone can clarify… perhaps a story for another day!), one of my favourites! While driving there Shadreck and I see the group walking to our right-hand side, as we reach the sundowner spot. The team is quite far off taking a nice big loop along the river which gives us plenty of time to unpack. Once done we take a moment to enjoy the setting which is when Shadreck says “there’s an animal on the sand-bank,”. I grab my binoculars and discover that it is a pride of 6 lions – 3 lionesses, 2 subadults and a juvenile relaxing on the sandbank. I still have the walking team in site and start waving to get their attention to come over and see the lions, however to my surprise I see they are indeed watching something else… our resident pack of 16 wild dog!

I relax in my attempts to get their attention as I can now see the dogs moving parallel to where Shadreck and I are waiting, assuming the team will follow. However, if anyone knows dogs they are notoriously difficult to follow especially when they move off at pace! Which they proceeded to do, so the team with the lions still out of site then walked to the carmine colony to get some photos of these beautiful birds in the golden light of a Luangwa sunset.

What makes the next part of the story interesting is the dogs were up wind of the lions, meaning as soon as they got to a certain point the lions would pick up their scent and ultimately begin stalking, which they did.

The dogs had now settled down around 30/40 meters from the bank of the river. The lionesses then began their stalk through the river and up onto the bank, by this point I couldn’t see the team so instead sat down and enjoyed the moment with Shadreck . As the two lionesses stalked up the bank, the pack of dogs seemed very relaxed, this had the potential to end badly for one of the dogs! And while I am all for nature taking its course, my heart was in my throat, the anticipation was just killing me! Finally, after about 5 minutes 1 lioness began her charge, full bore at the pack which immediately scattered and began barking and alarming in protest! This certainly got the group’s attention and as I looked left I noticed them moving with all urgency to investigate the disturbance. They got themselves into position and managed to watch the drama unfold as the dogs continued to bark and dart in and out at the two lionesses, with the lionesses making a charge every now and then! This tentative confrontation went on for around 20/30 minutes until the two female lions gave up and went back across the river to their offspring who sat with enviable patience for their mothers’ return.

Once the wild dog vs lion excitement had abated, the group came over to join Shadreck and I. Everyone sat down to a well earned G&T and stunning African sunset; whilst enthusiastically discussing the events which had just been witnessed.”

Wow! Thanks Michael, what an incredible story to finish the Mobile season off with.

Well, from my side the team has returned to Mfuwe and have been reunited with their families. All the Mobiles kit has been packed into the container down here at Nkwali ready to go for next year. I can’t quite believe that it is already October, the season has gone incredibly quickly and the sightings just keep on pouring in. However, I think that we have had enough excitement for this week so I shall bid you all a very fond farewell and hope that you all have a fabulous week ahead with lots of smiles and laughter and don’t forget to look after each other.

 

 

 

 

 

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