The short rains have started and the entire concession has greened up tremendously, areas that had burnt and others that were grazed extensively by the wildebeest migration a few months ago are fully recovered. The entire landscape looks like an emerald green tapestry, with mosaics of colour dotted across it, created by flowers and animals. The new grass has attracted zebra and topi in their thousands, little Thompson gazelle with their constantly moving tails, buffalo and elephant. Along with the rain and the new growth there is birth, zebra foals, topi and buffalo calves, Thompson’s and impala lambs. Trees that were dormant through the dry season have sprouted new leaves, wild flowers are blooming throughout the concession and frogs can be heard calling everywhere.
This month I witnessed how predators are so incredibly good at assessing a situation, weighing up the potential benefits of a hunt and analysing the potential costs or risks at the same time.
We set off under the cover of darkness in the early morning and on to one of my favourite drainage lines to look for lions. As it began to get light I caught site of the Butamtam lionesses and their youngsters. We gently approached the lionesses and then switched the engine off and watched. One of the more mature lionesses, the daughter of ‘Mama Scar’, was busy nursing her five youngsters. This is interesting as lionesses only possess four teats.
I was out one morning looking for elephants as my guests were still hoping for further interaction with these special creatures. What we came across that day, we could not have prepared for – it was simply magical.