What an amazing 24 hours we have had. It all started last night as we drove out the lodge and found 2 rhinos feeding, then drove a further 300 metres to find a huge herd of elephant and after leaving them we were called back to the area cause somebody had found leopards mating.
It turns out that the Little Bush Female must have lost her cub, my only guess would be that the lions found and killed the 6 month old, and now she has come back into oestrus and is ready to mate again. Our old king, Sandriver, has been making quite the comeback and has taken charge of the mating duties. I think he is safe too cause ‘M’ has not been venturing to far west.
We didn’t have to wait long to watch the first tense act of mating take place ten metres from my vehicle. The noise of the growling and snarling as the female moved in to try initiate the action was intense. By her second attempt Sandriver was tired and wanted nothing to do with her. Eventually he gave in and did his duty. We stayed with them for about an hour and witnessed them mate four times before we made space for the next guys to come in and see the action.
We then headed to a beautiful viewpoint to enjoy a sundowner and take in the crimson sunset.
This mornings goal was to find the lionesses and the cubs one last time before my guests headed off to their next destination. We enjoyed a beautiful sunrise before heading south.
When we found the pride we could see that the females had had a good meal that night and were lying up on some rocks feeding the cubs. The cubs were so hungry after nearly three days with minimal food that they were fighting for a seat at the breakfast table. It was a massive maul as the little ones fought with each other over nipples. This was clearly not the most comfortable thing for the females as they growled in discontent at the little cubs.
Some of the mothers even too to biting and throwing some of them off to relieve the pressure on her and hopefully send them off to one of the other lactating mothers.
There was a major difference in demeanour between the mothers and the other females. The other females just bathed in the sunlight with no worry about harassment from the cubs.
And now while I have been typing my post the monkeys are going made and I can hear the leopards mating in the river right next to my house…WHAT A TREAT!!