We set out early, heading down to the deep south-east of Londolozi to follow up on the reports of the Nstevu pride with two cubs from the night before.
We were not far from where they were last seen the previous evening when we happened upon four magnificent kudu bulls. We sat watching them for a few minutes when suddenly two of the bulls started to behave aggressively towards each other, and things soon developed into a proper fight. They were clashing horns and pushing each other back and forth.
Kudu will sometimes literally lock horns unintentionally when fighting as their spiral shape gets them intertwined with each other. Once locked, they can starve to death, or even break their own necks trying to escape. Of course when their heads are down and they’re only interested in fighting each other, they become incredibly vulnerable to predation, particularly by lions.
This was a battle that fascinated us, and we were confident that if the were lions close by, they would hear the clashes of the two bulls’ horns as they struck each other.
Having this thought I started to video the kudu, and literally moments later a lioness erupted from the bushes. However with a third kudu keeping a close eye on the fight, he was able to spot the lioness rushing towards them, and the antelope took off with the lions narrowly missing a great opportunity.
What an incredible start to an early morning game drive. But what we witnessed next with stay with our guests, tracker Jerry and myself for a very long time.
With the element of surprise gone, the five lionesses abandoned the hunt and lead us to a nearby waterhole where one of them was hiding her young cubs. As the sighting played out, I could not have imagined a more perfect sighting if iI had scripted it myself. It turned out to be one of the most memorable lion sightings of my guiding career.