On one game drive in late September, after a rare quiet afternoon, I was making my way back to camp on a road that ran parallel to a lagoon. This road always proved to be productive and one I always kept in my back pocket as an insurance policy in the event of a quiet drive.
On approach to the junction of the lagoon road and the main road to camp, I heard snarling coming from the combretum thicket to my left. It was the unmistakeable sound of a lion scuffle, I swung my cruiser to the left and through a gap in the thicket. There in the beam of the sport light was one of the Hollywood pride females who had been missing for some time, snarling and growling at the others who were extremely curious and not paying as much attention to her warnings as they should be. We soon noticed the reason for the disturbance as under the snarling lioness were two tiny cubs.
We had assumed that she had taken herself off to give birth when we noticed her missing and to my sheer delight we were right. This appeared to be the first time she had brought the cubs to meet the rest of the pride as the cubs had been kept away for the first few months of their lives while they grew strong enough to withstand the rigors of pride life with much bigger brothers, sisters and cousins all intent on constant games of rough and tumble.
After a few minutes of snarling from the mother, she eventually relaxed and allowed the adults members of the pride to come and inspect their new niece and nephew followed by the younger members, who were allowed to come and get acquainted with their new family members.
After every member of the pride had taken their turn to greet the new arrivals, the mother lioness carried the cubs deep into the thicket and then lay down to guard the entrance making sure that the new arrivals were left alone to get some much needed rest.
The rest of the pride settled down around the thicket and we carried on back to camp. The Hollywood pride, once again had treated me to a very special insight into their life.
See you next time.
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