Close encounters…

What started out as a quiet morning drive… ended up being very exciting.

We departed the Lodge as the sun rose, and not far from the Lodge we picked up on really fresh lion tracks. I decided to start tracking them and see what it led to, and quickly realised it was only one male’s tracks. He was making it nice and difficult to track as he crossed the road a couple of times, and then decided to walk through big rocks.

After what seemed like the whole morning drive, probably about 1 and half hours, I was battling to see the tracks on the black cotton soil roads. I parked the car and decided to quickly hop off the vehicle and see if I could pick up the spoor. It was difficult but I picked them up again and off I went, by foot now, probably about 50m from the car and very close to a T junction in the road. I noticed these tracks where getting very fresh now. I decided to walk to the T junction about 70m from the vehicle and see which way the tracks were going. I heard something like a engine starting up so I stopped to have a look and it stopped. I waited again for a minute and heard nothing, so I carried on toward the T junction. As I got to the T, not only did the ‘engine’ started up again, it sounded like the engine was revving itself and then I knew it must be him! My heart was racing and my body was full of adrenaline, as I slowly raised my head. Low and behold there he was in the middle of the road 20m south of the T Junction, all alone.

After quickly and safely retreating to the vehicle, we drove up nice and close and viewed him in full glory.Buffalo Thorn Lion

Buffalo Thorn Lion2