Friday, February 17

Surprise attack! (Part 1)

This is a story that I have been wanting to share with you for quite a long time.

A couple of years ago I went on a Birding course in the far north of Kruger, and on the way there I had an incredible experience with lion and buffalo.

This was near Punda Maria, where I camped for one night on the way north. After pitching my tent in a shady spot, I went on a slow leisurely game drive. Though it was already late afternoon, the heat was stifling and the animals were mostly out of sight hiding deep in the lush green bush.

There was a large buffalo herd near one waterhole which I spent some time with, until a passing car told me of lion further up the road.......

Being a quiet time in the Park, there was only one other vehicle at the sighting so I had a great view.......

There was a beautiful lioness with three cubs, feasting on what looked like the remains of a Kudu antelope.
This peaceful scene lasted for a few minutes after I got there, until the lioness suddenly sat up, alert and focused.

She then crouched down behind the carcase to keep out of sight. 
One of the cubs decided it was definitely not going to hang around and skittered off behind a bush.

Three old buffalo were walking up the valley past the lions. 
One of them had obviously seen the movement, or had scented them, and paused to glare.

The buffalo resumed their slow, deliberate trudge and the lions relaxed a little.

A glimmer of gold in the distance, and another lioness with cub came into view.

And then a third lioness with more cubs strolled into the scene.

Within a few minutes we had 3 lionesses and 9 cubs relaxing, playing or idly gnawing on kudu.

What a wonderful sight!

In an instant, this peaceful scene changed.

A lioness leaped to her feet and stared up the valley.

She whipped around and moved swiftly into the bushes on the right.

The other lions were a little slow in reacting, but..... 

as two buffalo charged into the bushes on their left, they all scattered, a blur of tawny gold and black tipped tails......

What happened next?

Well, to find out go to Part 2  of this story.


Joyful said...

What a fantastic sight! I've seen mothers in the wild with their cubs and kill but never 3 at once with their cubs. Your story really illustrates how mothers in the wild must always be alert to danger. Can't wait for your 2nd installment.

Coral Wild said...

Thanks Joyful.
It was fantastic:) I had never seen 3 mothers with their cubs this close before either!

Gavin said...

Aarrgh! No fair! The suspense is killing!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Coral .. what an amazing experience - how fascinating to have been there .. and loved the pictures - they are just wonderful.

I too can't wait for part 2 - have a great weekend .. cheers Hilary

Coral Wild said...

@Gavin - :)

Thanks for the comments Hilary - may you have a good weekend too!

Ruth Swasey said...

Sue, not only are you a great safari guide and photographer but story teller as well!!! I agree with the rest of your fans...I can not wait for part two!!!!!

Coral Wild said...

Hi there Ruth.. I hope you enjoyed Part 2:)