This morning the camp woke to a swarming hive of activity…
Our resident hippos are wallowing happily in the newly swelled river, snorting, splashing and ‘laughing’ their big belly calls in the morning mist, grateful to have some clean(ish) water to play and compete in.
Dozens of topi are sparring on the plain, or ‘lecking’ – the males strut their stuff, dressage-style, as females (with calves in tow) enter or come close to their individual, staunchly defended patches of turf. The males then charge after these prospective mates if they wander on unimpressed, then suddenly screech to a halt as the female crosses an invisible line into another male’s territory.
So far, since sunrise, close to two thousand zebra have filed past camp right in front of the mess, heading south, jumpy and spooked as lion roars punctuate the still damp air, echoing eerily as their challenge is met by neighbouring king cats. The zebra herds’ wariness of these ghostly sounds was not without warrant – just as we finished up breakfast a young male lion strode confidently out of the croton thicket in front of tent number three, with thousands of herbivore eyes fixed firmly upon him. The crowds parted way ahead of his arrival, no creature taking any chances.
What a fantastic start to the day!
Photographs by Lorna Buchanan-Jardine
This entry was posted on Saturday, April 7th, 2012 at 9:02 am
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