Only 2 days left on this amazing trip to Zimbabwe. We’d pretty much ticked all of our boxes, so for the last 2 days our focus was on the lions that call Hwange home.
Remember Rambo – the young male chased away by his father who was calling for his sisters? Well, meet Netsai (means “troublesome”), Rambo’s father. He’s around 9 years old and is the dominant male in this part of Hwange. We could hear him all night, and found him in the morning literally right behind our camp.
He was pretty much sleeping, so we moved on and found some ladies heading to the water hole for a drink. In the first photo, you can see her surrounded by the holes created by the elephants digging for minerals!
Sharing a drink…
Then another lioness resting in the shade, looking wistfully at something..
When you see a photo of a giraffe standing by a tree its really hard to grasp its size. Add in a zebra, that is the size of a small horse, and you have some scale – they are massive animals!
Giraffes are very graceful animals, except when they are drinking. It’s a long way down, so its very awkward, but it will always bring a smile to your face!
Lions aren’t climbers by nature, most of the time they’re on the ground and in the grass or the shade. On this day we were really lucky to find a group of youngsters playing on a downed tree.
It was fun to sit and watch them trying to get comfortable, it took a while but eventually they did…
As the sun dropped lower in the sky, they were bathed in a beautiful golden light. It was perfect!
It had already been a great day, but as we approached our camp we had another encounter with Netsai. It was almost dark and he was a little more active, getting ready for the night and the hunt…
The last day in Hwange was pretty uneventful. Another beautiful day driving around in this special place.
It’s always fun for me to hear the stories of how the lions, the prides and the coalitions of males get their names. Late in the afternoon, on this last day, we found the Baggage Handlers, a coalition consisting of 2 brothers plus one other lion. As the story goes, back in 2018 these young male lions took a bag from the belly of an open Cessna that was parked at the airstrip. They proceeded to scatter the contents of the bag all over the airstrip. Thus, the baggage handlers!
When lions are mating, they spend 3-4 days together. They don’t hunt so they don’t eat. The male is never far from her side, ensuring that he is the only one she mates with.
It was getting late in the day, so there was beautiful soft light on the mane of lion…
No matter where we were or what we were watching, there was almost always a baboon perched somewhere, watching as well.
One last photo of the male in the evening light….
And just like that it was time for a sundowner on our last evening in Zimbabwe. It was a magical trip – I hope you enjoyed tagging along!