Some of the players
Senalala offered us the advantage of being off the main roads and our time on game drives was sensational. On our first drive we were able to see rather quickly African Buffalo, a white rhino, giraffes and elephants. At an elephant carcass we hoped to find lions and instead found hyenas and vultures.
Having heard that a couple of lions had been sighted we started the first morning game drive in cruisin’ the general area. We came upon two female lionesses who were chillin’ at the edge of some denser bush where it was broken by a strip of large open area. On the other side of the strip stood a herd of african buffalo. The fascinating confrontation featured the bulls of the buffalo herd as they kept the young and the cows safely in back while they asserted their authority against the two lions. The bulls took turns moving forward to within just a few feet of the lions.
We watched from a distance as one lioness casually sat unperturbed while the second lay out of sight as each decided their advantage or disadvantage. The aggressive buffalo snorting and head shaking, the stomping of hooves, males coming round to support the effort, and a herd that did not run contrasted with lions that seemed indifferent and unaffected, believing that was on their side and that the right opportunity would come. The buffalo held their own and the lions, perhaps because of our presence, left. Watching it all happen in front of you reminds you that the will to survive is ever present.
The Quiet One
As we moved away from the lions we surprised a leopard sunning on a termite mound. When she realized we had spotted her she moved tucked under a dead tree trunk. When that didn’t prove effective against 14 prying eyes, she retreated gracefully through the bush. Our guide had not seen one in the area for awhile, so it was one of those chance moments. All of these animals, large and small, are designed with purpose. How easily they blend into the environment and how obviously we didn’t.