Having a good number of lions in the reserve does not necessarily mean that you stumble over them in our 200-something square kilometres. And so, on some visits, you may start giving up on the idea of seeing lions. There may be tracks galore, but no living proof of, or eyes on the lion pride or the roaming lions. You’d expect to see at least some of them in this season, when the bush starts thinning out before the rains.
So there we were again, following tracks along the road, hoping to catch a glimpse. At some point, a combination of lion and wild dog tracks seemed to indicate that something other than a stroll had happened there. A call came on the radio: not far from where we were, one of the anti-poaching guys had seen two lions in the thicker bush, one of them with prey. We rushed over there to find two male lions nicely camouflaged by the bush, one of them completely absorbed by the piece of impala he was chewing on.
As impala is not the main staple of lions—they need a bigger piece of meat to satisfy their appetite—our guide, Actor suggested that this might just be a snack that they stole from the wild dogs right where we saw all the messy tracks earlier. And we were happy to follow his hypothesis, albeit feeling a bit sorry for the wild dogs, who would have been deprived of their breakfast. But alas, that’s nature.