A View to A Kill: Lion cubs, and other tales of Kruger primitive road, Satara 100
Observing these Lion cubs over a period of two days so close was an awesome experience.
With a view to a kill
On one of our game drives, we came upon that scene many people come to Africa to see---a kill. We didn't actually see the kill but got to watch what happens at the scene. When we drove up to the watering hole, you could see a large male lion sleeping to one side and then looking into the reeds you could see a kill with some young lions eating.
After lunch we decided to come back and see what was happening. The kill was still there but some elephants had come up and were drinking and grazing. The mother lion had moved the three cubs up on the hill a ways and was sitting and watching the elephants. All of a sudden, an elephant trumpets and charges at the lions. She gets up and moves on further away until she was right near our car. You could hear the young cubs mewling as they were trying to see what they should do. Mother lion was signaling--we imagine--Come on kids, act like lions! The big male lion had moved up the hill between the two drives where people could watch what was going on. Real surprise when you looked down and saw it! After a time, he got up and moved back down to the kill and the mother and cubs had moved back. The male lion goes down to the water and one of the cubs joins him, then the other two did the same. They are so funny to watch.
We left and drove back to the camp to get supplies and then drove out a little ways before it was time to get back in before the gate closed. We watched as the late cars came in. It was just too difficult to leave the kill!
The next morning we got up early to leave as soon as the gate was open. We were sixth in line to leave the gate. One car turned left, we turned right, passed two cars on main road and then the two cars in front of us slowed to watch a giant hyena cross the road. It looked giant but maybe was just the light. Got to the waterhole with only a safari vehicle sitting there. Took up our place where we had watched yesterday.
They had pulled the kill out into the open. You could tell they had really been eating on it! At one point, the vultures that were watching and waiting for their turn on the kill. The big male lion all of a sudden charged roaring at the vultures. It was quite a show! It was still very cold outside and you could see his breath as he continued roaring back to his meal. We looked up across the waterhole and there was a lion sitting there. Then we saw another and then two more. Down at the kill, the mother lion was watching the lions on the hill. She then signaled to the cubs they needed to move on with her. They are still (in my opinion) having trouble being lions; they are just like little kittens back home. As they were following mother up the hill, they kept leaping on her leg or jumping over each other. When they got out into the open pullout, they were fighting with each other, tumbling across the road. She was very patient and when got across the road settled down and the cubs continued playing using their mother's back as a jumping board. Needless to say, there was action going on at the waterhole but the mother and cubs were also something to watch and so there was a traffic jam out on the road and in the pullouts all morning