It was late September and Zambia’s South Luangwa was in the grips of the dry season. Although this is a hard time for the herbivores, it is a time of plenty for the carnivores as the numerous prey species are drawn to the life-giving Luangwa river. All the predators need to do is sit and wait.
I had a couple from America that had just arrived in camp, who were coming to the end of a big safari, which from what they were telling me, had been extremely productive. No pressure then.
We headed out for their first game drive and I made a beeline for the Hollywood pride who were resting up on the banks of the Luangwa river.
After spending an hour or so with them, they began to stir and make their way onto one of the Luangwa’s many Ox Bow lagoons. They quickly spotted a herd of Puku who were feeding on the rich grass. The pride spread out, each member knowing their specific role. The two chasers flanked the unknowing herd and drove them straight into the jaws of the waiting lioness’.
The following afternoon, we headed out again, and quickly bumped into the Hollywood pride. They hadn’t gone far from where we left them the following night. After a few minutes with them, we decided to leave them and see what else the night had to offer.Just as we decided to call it a night, we bumped into a lone lioness, a Hollywood female, who was focused on something in the darkness. We followed her and quickly noticed the rest of the pride in formation, surrounding another herd of Puku.
I moved my vehicle to the top of a cliff overlooking the scene below. The puku had nowhere to go as the lions had trapped them at the foot of the cliff. Or so it thought. As the pride launched into action. The puku, somehow managed to scale the 5 meter vertical cliff and race past my vehicle.
Shortly after the last Puku dashed past my vehicle. The pride followed. I quickly spun my land cruiser round in hot pursuit. I could make out the two lioness giving chase and a third quickly intercepted the antelope, no more than 20 meters from us.
Two kills in two nights, this couldn’t get any better……… Or could it?
We set out on the last drive of my guests stay and shortly after sun down, found our good friends the Hollywood pride once again. This time it was in a slightly thicker area of bush and following them was proving to be difficult. Once again, they were on the hunt. I tried to anticipate their path and drove on ahead and waited.
Out of the darkness we heard the chilling sound of an animal being caught in the clutches of death. We followed the sound and what greeted us was a total surprise. It was not the Lion that had made the kill, but a male leopard. The pride, up on hearing the distress of the bushbuck had followed the sound and chased the leopard off of his prise and up a tree. Where all he could do was watch as the pride devoured his hard-earned meal directly below.
3 kills in 3 nights.
Needless to say I was very happy, but more importantly, so where my guests.
Cheers for now.
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