Before starting my guiding for the day, I often ask my guests what they would like to see on their game drives and what interests them. Lions are probably top of the list most times and it’s not always easy to track them. Well my job was made easy just before Easter when ‘Cecil’ and ‘Jericho’ came back to our concession with two females in tow. These unbelievably striking boys formed a coalition some years ago and their territory stretches from Ngweshla to The Hide. They are both very relaxed, often giving us wonderful photographic opportunities to the delight of my guests.
Both pairs of lions not only visited the concession but actually decided that mating by Tent 7 would be a good idea. They stayed closeby for a few days keeping guests on their toes and would often be seen in the open vlei area by camp in the early mornings and evenings, resting in the shade during the day. They even surprised guests at supper time and came to drink at the waterhole. Interestingly mating occurs about four times an hour over a period of one to two days and lasts for less than a minute each time. This frequency is probably due to high failure rates of matings, only about one in three copulations results in cubs. I never tire of seeing these amazing animals in their natural environment, it is a priviledge to observe them and I love seeing the reaction from my guests when they have experiences like this.
By Daffy, Professional Guide at The Hide