10 Sep 2010 A welcome surprise
We had a late check-in earlier this week, and our guests not only got a warm welcome from us, but a nice surprise as well.
While the manager was plying the new arrivals with the requisite welcome drinks, we heard monkeys calling from the riverbed right next to the camp. Something had clearly upset them, so we migrated en masse to the deck to investigate. We arrived just in time to see a lioness crossing the riverbed towards the dam by the dining room.
We waited with bated breath to see if she’d reappear on the other side of the dam. Having one of the ‘Big 5’ right under our noses is always a treat!
Our patience was soon rewarded when she emerged from behind the bushes. And from the low rumblings of appreciation on the deck, it was obvious that everyone had spotted her.
After a while we became aware of the fact that the lioness seemed slightly nervous. And she also kept looking back over her shoulder.
We soon understood why. Two cubs – about three months old – greeted us with their presence. They ambled playfully with Mom across the lawn, stopped at the dam for a drink, and then disappeared into a thicket.
Lions tend to stay in concealed areas while their cubs are still very young, so it was wonderful to see she’d decided to make a donga (gulley) close to camp their home for a couple of weeks.
After showing the guests to their rooms we went on a game drive, only to find a male lion also lying out in the open right next to the camp.
What a wonderful way to start a safari. Being welcomed not only by Camp Jabulani’s friendly staff, but also by nature. 😉