Safari 2018 #15 Savute Game Drive

by david on July 17, 2019

We’d barely gotten settled in our rooms before it was time for the evening game drive.  Our driver, guide, and naturalist for the evening was to be Conrad, who was pleasant and knowledgeable, guiding us to lots of elephant, impala, wildebeest, tsessebe, and lions.  We actually saw two parts of the same pride. The dominant male and some ±6 month old cubs were lounging around their most recent kill, a blue wildebeest. The male was so full he was miserable and was almost comatose.  Other adult members of the pride were along the periphery sleeping off a full belly in whatever scraps of shade they could find. It sort of reminded me of my fraternity brothers after a major blow out. The cubs, however, still seemed hungry as they were crawling into, over, around and just about everywhere on the carcass, gnawing bits and pieces of the wildebeest and, on occasion each other, as they alternated between eating and playing.  None of the cats paid any attention to us even though the Land Cruisers were within 15-20 feet. Knowing what I know about adult lions, their bloated bellies informed me they were full and going to be somewhat lazy for the next 8-12 hours. The fact no tourist had been snatched out of a safari truck and eaten lately was maybe even a little more comforting. Knowing any of the adult lions could cover the 15-20 feet separating us in the time it takes me to blink was overriding any comfort the other two tidbits of information might have provided.  All of the cats behaved themselves, and we watched for 20-30 minutes. The only movements were the cubs tugging at the wildebeest or perhaps an occasional roll over by one of the adults. Perhaps this was to make use of the slight breeze starting to swirl as the heat of the day was yielding to the approach of evening. After getting our fill of watching this group, we headed out to try and find the member missing from this group, a lioness with 6-week-old cubs.

 

Hide and seek anyone? Hide and seek anyone?

 

There has to be one more bite in here somewhere. There has to be one more bite in here somewhere.

 

I can't believe I ate the whole thing. I can’t believe I ate the whole thing.

 

Sleeping it off. Sleeping it off.

 

I don't know if this jackal was hungry, brave, stupid, or some combination of the three. But he was almost patiently looking for some leftovers. I don’t know if this jackal was hungry, brave, stupid, or some combination of the three. But he was almost patiently looking for some leftovers.

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