On the morning of the 12th Milo, Phyre, Kenge, Kwali, Ashanti, Nala, Narnia and maturing AT1 were all located resting in the Etosha area of the site. But where were the fabulous four? The youngest Ngamo lions were nowhere to be seen and as the sun continued to rise the team remained with the more mature members of the pride. With the cubs now at the ages of 16 and 15 months old it is to be expected that they will take steps towards independence and with the ‘A’ cubs quite often lagging behind it was of more intrigue than concern as to their whereabouts. As the morning temperature started to rise the pride continued to laze about, although AT1 had more energy than some and she chased birds as they took rest from flight. The research team left the pride dozing in the sunshine and they made their way through the site heading towards Waterhole 2; and who should they find there! Looking every bit the independent pride, albeit young, KE3, KE4, AS4 and AS5 gave a glimpse of what the future holds for the semi-wild borne cubs as they sat relaxed and looking very grown up indeed without the security of their elder counterparts.
The four youngsters spent the whole day at the waterhole and they filled their time with plenty of activity. A nearby tree attracted a playful KE3 and she clambered up the trunk. AS5 soon rose to join her and the pair played for a while climbing up and down. Their fun was only momentarily interrupted by a large flock of birds flying overhead and, as they passed by, all four faces glanced to the skies to watch. Following an afternoon nap it was playtime once again and AS5 returned to tree climbing whilst his sleepy sisters looked on.
Below: KE3 in tree
By early evening KE4 seemed to have had quite long enough with just her siblings for company and she began a series of soft contact calls in the hope of locating the older pride members. After a short while of calling and wandering around the area she soon caught a glimpse of the pride resting, and she instantly picked up her pace and trotted towards mum, Kenge. KE3 was hot on her tail, together with AS4 and AS5, and the three young lions hurriedly made their way to the relaxing group. As the four were reunited with their respective mothers an enthusiastic bout of head-rubbing and licking commenced, and the happy sounding calls from mother to cub filled the research team with joy at their reunion following a big day away.
AS5 in tree