Temi & Rusha
We haven’t seen the pride in the Sahara area of the site for quite some time now, but this morning (1st July) they were making their way South across this area towards the Lusaka road - crossing and plonking themselves down on the junction with the Garden Route. Seconds before we’d spotted them, we’d seen a herd of approximately 15 impala 100m ahead of us. The pride remained oblivious to their presence until Kwandi – who had been trailing some four or five minutes behind the others - arrived on the scene and instantly locked on to them.
With few places left to hide in this part of the site after May’s fire, it didn’t take long before she was spotted – and she knew it; the distance was too great to cover in full view and so watched them for a further 20 seconds before returning to the group. Rusha and Zulu seemed keen to continue the pride’s Sunday morning stroll and moved a further 50m South before sitting down once more. It was only once Kwandi began making her way in that direction, stopping for a quick greet with best mate Loma, that the train of lions began to move off again.
Trailing them through Chobe, they bypassed the road and headed into the Sanga boundary. This route almost always sees them re-emerge on a wide corner – close to where they made their first ever zebra kill - about 400m further down. So with no chance of following them through the boundary we continued West and parked up to wait. Sure enough five minutes later we picked up their forms moving through Sanga about 100m from us. Whatever it is about this spot seems to make the lions extremely playful and as Kwandi came bursting out of the boundary in hot pursuit of an African Harrier Hawk she’d startled, Loma raced up a tree as Zulu circled her from below. As she tore back down the tree Zulu chased while Rusha doubled back and pounced on Kwandi. A brief and lively interlude to the procession before once more off they went into Sibaka.
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Most often during a move, especially a long one, several lions will take over the lead at various points. But Rusha and Zulu had almost immediately taken over the lead after Kwandi initiated the move, and remained 15 to 20m ahead of the rest at all times; marching off into the distance like the King and Queen of Dambwa with their loyal subject in tow.
Rusha & Zulu
Having reached one of their favoured trees in Kariba, Kela and Kwandi sauntered off together to slump in some tall grass while everyone else littered themselves across and around an anthill. After the hi-jinks earlier in the morning all anyone could muster for the rest of the day was a brief bout of grooming between Rusha and Leya.