13 Apr 2017 Tracking lions, by Craig Sanders
The Kapama Private Game Reserve has a great population of lions, and Camp Jabulani guests are fortunate to get amazing sightings of these wonderful animals. Currently, a coalition of three young lions, known as the Hoedspruit Males, has been making it a point to be seen.
During one of the early morning bush walks we came across some fresh tracks of the males, and after discussions with the guests we decided to follow the tracks. What we’d hoped would be a quick mission, turned into an hour-long tracking as we also stopped from time-to-time to admire the many wonders the bush has to offer.
While following the tracks, I realised that they were heading to one of the nearby dams. Taking the weather into account and our surroundings, we chose the safest and best route to the waterhole. Leaving the guests with the back-up trails guide, I walked to the dam wall to ensure that the lions were there. Much to my excitement they were indeed, laying on the opposite side of the dam – fast asleep and unaware of my presence!
I signalled to the trails guide to bring the guests over, and we stood there watching these lions for a good few minutes. One of the males then woke up and made his way to the water for a drink – presenting an amazing photographic opportunity. Thankfully our position and cover was great, and he did not notice us. We did not want to overstay our welcome, so once this feline went back to relaxing with his brothers we quietly sneaked away.
We walked back to the lodge with big smiles on our faces and great memories of another incredible bush experience.