Happy Families

29 01 2012

On Monday (16th January) morning Phyre, Kwali, Nala, Narnia, Ashanti, AT1, Kenge and her cubs were resting in Kruger.  It was breakfast time for KE3 and KE4 who were suckling mum as we arrived.    Phyre lay close by and, with her pregnancy becoming more and more evident, teamed with the fact that she ate very well yesterday, she looked enormous!  It was a very quiet morning for everyone except for KE4 amusing herself by practicing her climbing technique in a nearby tree.  By the afternoon Ashanti had brought her cubs to the pride too and the four young playmates spent the remainder of the day tormenting Phyre and Narnia as they attempted to suckle from the expectant mother and played with Narnia’s tail.  Narnia, not willing to tolerate the fun and games any longer picked herself up and moved away from AS5 who cried at being left without anything to play with.

Most of Tuesday (17th January) morning was spent patrolling the release site for our elusive pride and after an hour and a half of searching we finally came across Phyre, Kenge and AT1 wandering through Etosha and then settling in Serengeti East, completely unaware of the effort we had gone to trying to find them.  During the rest of the day it was not so difficult to locate the lions as the lazy trio spent the majority of the day sleeping in the same spot.  By the time the sun was beginning to set Kenge rose to her feet and walked a short distance away, seeming to scan the landscape with her nose held high.  Within a few moments two little lions came bounding excitedly towards their mum resulting in lots of head rubs and small cries.

KE3, full of energy, jumped up and attempted to climb a tree before she and her sister settled down to suckle Kenge for their first meal of the day.  Once they had filled their bellies with milk they turned their attention on unsuspecting AT1 who sat near to Phyre looking very grown up.  After playing with a few sticks on the way over to AT1, KE3 and KE4 clambered over the young lioness who was not in the mood for play and she growled and snarled irritated by the two unruly cubs.

Wednesday (18th January), and after quite a bright start to the morning, the day turned out to be a bit of a wash out, quite literally! As Milo rested on his own in Masai Mara, Phyre, AT1, and Kenge, Ashanti and their cubs started their day in Etosha.  Soon Narnia and Milo joined them and they all rested together for the best part of the day.  Phyre is becoming particularly friendlier these days and is spending a lot more of her time giving out head rubs and grooming sessions.   As she and Ashanti enjoyed a good head rub KE4 couldn’t resist the temptation and she squeezed her way in between the high-ranking females to get in on the action.

As they day drew in so did the clouds and by early evening the heavens opened and down came the rain.  Heavy rain!  The lions, who were quite happily resting, all became full of life and they wandered through the downpour towards Serengeti East. While AS4 and AS5 took shelter from the thunder and lightning under a tree, KE3 and KE4 made the most of the exciting weather and ran and jumped their way along Route 66 with AT1 who was also making the most of the wild weather.  As the rain got heavier our view of the lions became more and more difficult and so we left the pride and headed home early in the hope that the sun would come out tomorrow.




One response

30 01 2012

Another brilliant post, three days containing sunshine, heavy rain, thunderstorms and a pride of fantastic lions amongst it all too! Great photographs and great reading. Well done AP. Many thanks.

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