Today we are driving up to Timbavati Picnic Spot.
We decided to take the same road as yesterday. I think we hoped that the Leopard might still be there.
On the way to Muzandzeni we saw 4 Ground Hornbills. The grass was far too high for decent pics, but we love these birds and it is always a great sighing.
Coming closer to the spot were we saw the Leopard yesterday, there are indeed some cars standing on the road.
Of course we knew that the Leopard was not around any longer, but we were hoping for Hyenas, as we have not seen a single one so far during this trip.
The cars did not stay as long as yesterday and soon we could have a closer look at what was lying there.
The first thing we could see, ears. But these ears were too big for a Leopard.
Then we could detect the shape of a head. Well, to big for a Hyena. And suddenly we knew which animal was hiding in the grass.
A Lioness !
And soon after we found out, we could see that she was not alone. There was a male Lion as well resting in the grass.
It was the very same spot where we observed the Leopard yesterday. But the Leopard was gone, as was the Impala.
Our theory was that they might have snatched the prey from him.
We had quite a good position to observe the whole scene, so switched off the engine and waited for what might happen.
The Lioness was lying under the tree and the male started to come closer. He was limping.
,I always hate to see something like this .
He did not dare to step on his right front paw.
Then he laid down. As soon as he did so. The Lioness got up walking around, looking at bushes a bit further away, then returning to her male.
Suddenly we heard a strange sound.
We looked at each other, and asked :
‘Are you hungry ?’
‘Isn’t it your Stomach making these funny noises?’
‘No, it isn’t but I hear that as well!’
By this time we realized that the Lioness had started to purr.
What a powerful sound!
We never heard that before, in fact it never even occurred to us that Lions might be able to purr like cats.
The Lioness kept walking up and down in front of the males face teasing him.
And… suddenly they started to mate.
We could not believe it.
Of course it would have been nice if it all had happened in the middle of the road, because we did not had the best view through all this grass. (just kidding)
The whole scene was fascinating.
Again we stayed for an hour.
At one time a Waterbuck walked into the direction of the Lions, it looked as if he did not even realized their presence. The Lions lifted their heads but nothing else happened. They were otherwise engaged.
Every now and then the purring could be heard, but that was all.
When we saw the limping of the male Lion, Francolin thought, that the leg looked like it was broken. But I don’t think a Lion with a broken foreleg is able to mate.
Or at least I hope
that the fact that they mated is an indication that his paw was not hurt too badly.
So we are on our way to Timbavati again.
At the turnoff to the main road we saw this lovely tree with 3 Ground Hornbills.
The drive to Timbavati is pleasant and very green.
We saw Giraffes, Zebras, hundreds of Impalas with very busy males.
Disappointment at the Picnic Spot.
Not a single Bushbuck around. And I was so much looking forward to them. This never happened before, we never visited the PS without meeting them.
After breakfast ( which was in fact by now a lunch) we are again on our way to Orpen.
We saw this Southern White Crowned Shrike
and again Giraffes and Impalas.
On the detour to the main road , the S12 ,we observed a lone Elli having a drink at the Ngirivane waterhole.
As he started to walk off we drove close to the waterhole, to have a look at some Egyptian Geese. We then observed that the Elli came back and started to walk round the waterhole into our direction. He walked very swiftly. And at one point it even looked as he is going to start to run.
We felt very uncomfortable to see this. We did not know if he was irritated by us or if something else might caught his attention.
But we really were not very keen to find out about that .
So we hastily started to leave.
A shopping stop at Orpen and we are on the way back to Talamati .
We were able to see this beautiful Juvenile Bateleur
As we returned later than we expected, we made up our mind that we are going to stay in camp and visit the bird hide later.
Again with all the Visitors at our Cottage we have a lot to see here as well.
Later in the afternoon we are leaving for the hide.
The Bird Hide was packed. But we find some space and what a sighting.
30-40 Ellis at the waterhole.
Trumpeting and these very special gurgle sounds.( I still got goose bumps writing this)
We were told that the first herd had already left, it was herd 2 and 3 right now at the waterhole. Herd number 4 was coming from the right.
It was great to see the interaction of all these different herds.
Later even a single Elli was having a drink ,but just after all the others had already left.
Talking to the other visitors of the hide we learned about the strange behaviour of yesterdays Leopard.
It was a female Leopard with two cubs. She hid them in the grass, not too close to the kill. So she kept feeding on the Impala and returned every now and then to her cubs.
We stayed for while even after the Ellis had left.
Our last evening at Talamati, we are not at all happy about that.
Tonight we could hear the Hyenas far away once again .