While we only had one walk with Penya and Paza, and saw Lewa and Laili all but too briefly, we were able to spend both an afternoon and a morning session inside the Ngamo release site, and it certainly had to be the highlight of our working visit to Antelope Park.
Tag Archives: at1/wakanaka
The second time I met Kirsty was during our first encounter with the Ngamo Pride. In the back of a Land Rover watching this very unique group of lions go about their daily routine, I spent as much time watching Milo and Co. as I did paying attention to Kirsty – how effortlessly she recognized each lion, her understanding of each lion’s place in the pride’s hierarchy, her unbridled giddiness at being witness to a long and luxurious grooming session between several of the lionesses, and the way she notated every behavior of each lion in detail. Meticulous detail. It was obvious Kirsty was in her element out in the Ngamo release site, and it felt like having pitch side seats at a cup final.
It's official: we're returning to Africa!
Traveling Greener has been kind enough to feature a selection of our lion photos in their Green Photos section, and we're so very happy to see Milo, Moyo, Wakanaka, Lewa + Laili, the Southern Coalition, and the Honeymoon Pride featured alongside other great photos of penguins, sea turtles, sharks, and rhinos. It warms our heart to be back alongside our lion friends in Africa on an otherwise cold and snowy day here at home.
And did you get what you wanted from this life, even so? I did. And what did you want? To call myself beloved, to feel myself beloved on the earth.
As Anne's regaling us with her favorite Harare tourist and driving tips we find ourselves behind an omnibus, and as the bus approaches the intersection in front of us it comes to a stop at the light, which is red, forcing us to do the same. "Oh no," Anne says, "this isn't good." Too close to the bus' back bumper, with another car approaching us from behind, we can't easily navigate around it. So instead, we start scanning the nearby bushes, nervously waiting for the inevitable attack on our car. "This is not good at all, ya."
This is the part of the story where I'd like to say that I spent the night dreaming of lions. That King Milo came to see me, and beside the river outside our tent, amidst the roars of the other lions in his kingdom, we sat and talked about a great many things. Secrets that the wind has shared with him that he's now sharing with me.
The wind and, especially, the lack of lions roaring have put me on edge. We only have two days left at Antelope Park, and the inevitable pull of having to soon leave this place has left me feeling unsettled. I don't do well with goodbyes, and I'm especially unhappy to be nearing the end of this leg of our African journey.
Yawns stifle Penya and Paza's usual eeowws, but they're happy to be taken out and oblige us with some ridiculously cute moments, even if some of them involve rolling around in elephant poo. The morning light: sublime. The cubs: amazing, as always. The company: perfect. It's becoming harder and harder to find new ways to describe these walks, but it never feels old or worn to us. Regardless whether we're walking up the path with them (one eye behind me, watching for Penya's ankle taps), standing under a tree as we encourage them to climb, or lazily dozing on some boulders – it is beautiful. Chakanaka. Famba ne shumba, chakanaka.
"Question! I'm just wondering if the Great Zimbabwe Ruins trip is going to be on a weekend, because I would be up for going if the trip was on the weekend," Michael once again asks. "Why the weekend?" Nathan responds, slightly frustrated. "Because don't we get weekends off?" comes Michael's reply. After the laughter in the room dies down and Nathan can unscrew the look of complete bewilderment from his face, he responds. "Michael, we don't get weekends off here. Do you think the lions look after themselves?"