A chilly Sunday morning found the pride resting in a newly-burnt Chisamu, all looking rather serene in the crisp morning sunlight. Temi was sat about 30 metres to the pride’s right and Rusha 30 metres to their left; in between the other five huddled together for warmth.
After 10 minutes, Temi rose and made her way over to the group initiating a greeting on Kwandi then Zulu, which in turn led to a flurry of interactions before Kwandi led the group West, past Rusha with Kwandi and Leya stopping for a quick greeting to encourage Rusha to join in; and they were off.
We pottered along behind in ambling pursuit as they wove their way through Chisamu and the top half of Chobe. Despite a lack of grass, Dambwa is still a forest and as they made their way through dense clumps of trees we could annoyingly see there was a lot of play going on in the form of chasing and jumping, but unable to see for the most part who was doing what to whom.
Tumbling back out onto the Lusaka Road with Zulu and Rusha now taking over the helm, the ease with which we were able to monitor their moves as compared to the last few months was a joy, even if we couldn’t record every interaction along the way. Continuing West along the border of Chobe, Temi crossed over into Bwizu and seemed to want to turn North towards pan 2, but having realised no one else was following suit she also became aware that she’d lost track of the rest of the pride. We switched off the engine so that she could listen for their movements and after a minute’s assessment she headed off in the right direction and was soon trailing the pride.
The march continued through the rest of Chobe and into Sibaka overlooked by one of Dambwa’s pair of Bateleur eagles from their perch in the Sanga boundary. After several attempts by Rusha to lead the train of lions into the boundary Zulu won the battle of wills and led everyone to Kariba where normal service was resumed as everyone piled into the shade of a tree and within seconds were sleeping.