So today we got up relatively early (for my wife that is) but quite late for a morning game drive after a very disappointing night drive yesterday.
As mentioned in my previous entry, the Kruger Park is a circus at the moment and most wild life is so stressed in the late afternoons that you don’t spot anything anymore.
So off we went, kids in the back of back of the pick up, tablet, camara, video camara ready and hoping that we find some big game for nice pics.
Recently there was a lot of big cat activity in and around the Satara area and we decided to take this route in the hope to spot some big cats or game.
Halfway to Satara we found fresh tracks of buffalo and elephants and we knew we were on the right track, the roads still very quite compare to the Lower Sabi road and open savannah, perfect for big cats and other game.
We carried on slowly hoping to spot the wild life whose tracks we just found in the bush but we were not prepared of what we found instead around the next corner.
A young male lion was following a young lioness in the middle of the road. The sight was so beautiful that I stopped my car immediately and got my camara and video camara out, hoping we would either see the female chasing off the young male or what is very seldom being able to watch them hunt together.
So here I go, getting my camera ready, starting to shoot away, whilst the young lion, like most males in their late teens early tweens had only one thing in mind, mating with his beautiful female.
Believe it or not this happened right in front of our car, nobody else around at this stage and guess what! My camera made a big beep and went dark. I was ready to scream as these pics could have made my year, so I started to change my batteries and asked my wife if she is getting everything on video and the answer I got back from her was: Aehm we have a small problem here, the battery is flat.
I couldn’t believe our bad luck, both camera’s had been charged over night and should be working fine.
I hissed at my wife to take the cellphone and take the video this way, at this point I finished changing the batteries of the camera but unfortunately the young male was done as well.
Yep ladies, it is not just happening to the young boys the first time around but also to the king of the jungle.
So the lioness rolled over on her back, stretching all 4 from her and I started up the camera to take at least the pic of her laying on her back and guess what! Nothing! Absolutely nothing! The view finder stayed pitch black!
At this point I started to swear rather loudly at the camera and my kids got rather amused by the situation remarking that even lions deserve some privacy.
Wise Asse’s my kids, seriously!
However I was not prepared to give up that easily, checking the camera and all its settings, hoping that the lions would carry on as they do so often and that nobody else is going to show up at this point as it was already 7.20 a.m and the roads would get busy with travellers.
Round two came and went and still not pictures, in my despair I started taking pics with my cellphone (thanks Apple for a 8MP camera, which takes longer to set up than a professional one) until my little one asked why I’m not taking Baby Droid (that what she calls my tablet).
Trust me at this moment I could have kissed her if she wouldn’t have been on back seat and the cats in front of me. Off I went switching on my Acer Tab with a 5MP camera, compare to Apple ready when you want it, and was taking pics of these two love birds.
Unfortunately a little bit too late to get all the action, but never less some serious nice close up’s of a very exhausted lion pair next to the road.
But the youngster was not done yet and ready to go again, however the lioness was not willing to get up or even trying to run away, as the male just would have had his way with her again.
My wife said he is looking with sad eyes at her but I think he was watching her in a completely different way, more like, honey when can we go again! Unfortunately the first cars started to arrive and their occupants got very excited to see lions, which is completely understandable as you don’t find these big cat’s very often next to the road, especially not mating. You might ask me now where the video is. Well if you like to see one with a finger over the lens let me know and I mail it to you.
It definitely was the lion’s day but unfortunately not ours but hey, that how it goes, sometimes you win, sometimes you loose and maybe it was our creators wish for us not to interfere in these two’s mating ritual.
At this point more and more vehicles started to pull in and driving very close to the mating couple disturbing them in their natural behaviour, so we decided to make a turn and drive back as there is not much else for you to experience after this.
For me is nothing else left then to bring my camera to the shop for repairs and use my “Baby Droid” for the moment to bring you more insights of Kruger National Park.
Hitchhiker of Life