Our game plan was lions. Lions sleeping, moving, or hunting would be ideal. The latter, even more so. Lions had been found in the morning so we went back to where they had last been seen. Although still amidst the middle of winter, the days have been warming up and we are already starting to see temperatures of 30 degrees Celsius. That is the beauty of winter here in the low veld.
That day it had been hot. We didn’t think the lions would have moved too far during the day so we went to the area where they were last seen. We were right, they had moved all of 100m to some shade. In a deep slumber, the lions appeared dead to the world. The arrival of the vehicle saw only one lift its head. We sat with the pride for 20 odd minutes until we were ready to carry on. I had explained to my guests about the movement habits of lions and how they tend to only get moving when the day starts cooling down. Knowing where they were was perfect. Dan Hirschowitz and I were driving a group together. We decided to stop for a drink and snack slightly earlier than usual that afternoon. This would then make it easier to return to the lions as it started getting cooler after the sun had set and darkness descended upon us.
As the last bit of light faded into darkness, we returned to the lions. They were grooming themselves and yawning, all signs of the lions getting active and awakening their central nervous systems. Sure enough, not long after that, they were all on the move. Suddenly, the lions all stopped, and an overwhelming sense of focus took over from what was until then an ambled walk and they were off, now running with intent. We had no clue what they had heard, seen, or smelt.
We managed to stay with the lions. Ranger, Patrick Grealy had looped ahead and reported that the lions were surrounding the base of a Jackalberry tree where the Maxim’s Male had a hoisted kill.
Fairly skittish male that is presumed to have come from the Kruger National Park.
Things then escalated, watch the video beneath to see what unfolded.
He went to the top of the tree where the lions could not get to. Once the lions had got the kill, they moved off which then allowed the Male leopard to descend the tree and escape.