Day 5 at nThambo Tree Camp proved another special day in the bush. Despite the wintry chill of the 5:30 am wake up, the sights I experienced were once again heartwarming. The morning game drive was highlighted early on with a nervous heard of impala drinking at the waterhole as their reflections peered back at them. A pleasing surprise was a great spot by Issack our tracker – an African Barred Owlet!
As we continues we were happy to encounter our friends the two “Ross Pride Breakaway Females” There two lionesses had left their original pride of 20 + lions to go it alone. There have proved themselves great hunters, but had sadly lost several litters of cubs over recent years. Having a healthy pride to help raise and protect cubs is critical as many other animals will kill young lion cubs if they encounter them unattended.
A hearty breakfast was followed by a nice bush walk where we got to learn more about tracking , animal scat, and the smaller things to be found in the bush. It was a very nice treat to wind up walking alongside a journey (or tower) of giraffe for over half an hour. My friendly Lilac Breasted Roller even visited us as we returned to camp.
The first part of the afternoon drive was highlighted by being in the midst of a relaxed breeding herd of elephants. To me the coolest part was to see the two elephants below “greet” each other in a most unique way! Has anyone ever seen this behavior before in the wild or in captivity?
The day concluded with another up close encounter with our by now well-known lionesses. Their expressions here show it all. Notice the condition of her teeth – close examination shows her to be missing a canine tooth and two incisor teeth. Life in the bush is not for sissies!