I took a grand total of three pictures of Lewa and Laili, all of them of the former's butt. It wasn't my intention, but considering we spent only about five minutes with the pair and weren't allowed any closer than ten meters to them, I guess I shouldn't be surprised.
Tag Archives: laili
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.
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.
It's an extra special morning as Kim has in hand her honeymoon gift. Finally. All the secret meetings resulting in quizzical stares and hard questions from the wife have finally paid off and Kim is clutching a custom lion walking stick made by Jabulani. About a meter in length, the top is carved with JB's initials, a stick figure representing him, and "2011." Down one side of the stick's length is carved the names of the four cubs, separated by lion paws, and on the other JB has spelled out, "Kim + Graig - famba ne shumba." Kim + Graig? That's right: "Graig."
It never ceases to amaze me how glorious the mornings are here at Antelope Park. Today, we wake up to see the horses enjoying the river across from our tent. I see Silver Dime and give him a silent "thank you" for the lovely day we spent together yesterday. We take this picturesque scene as a good omen for the day ahead, which we're really excited about, because after two days without spending any time with the lions, our morning today begins with a walk with Paza and Penya. Famba ne shumba, "walk with lions."
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.
It's another glorious morning at Antelope Park as we wake to the roaring of lions and the chatter of birds, have a quick cup of coffee, and start the day off walking with Lewa and Laili. Really, it just doesn't get any better than this.