It's official: we're returning to Africa!
Tag Archives: lions
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.
We haven't seen a family pride yet - until now. Camouflaged within the grass we see some movement, and then one by one a whole family appears: one male, two females, and eight beautiful cubs! Craig reflexively eeowws at the little cubs, and one of the younger ones eeowws back and starts heading towards the truck. I turn to Craig and say, "I'm calling them the Honeymoon Pride!"
Craig and I acknowledge that there are some things here that we're not entirely happy about, and there are some things that are just simply different from what we've known these past couple of weeks. But that was the point of this part of our trip. It wasn't meant to be the same as the first part of our trip; it was meant to be intentionally different. We're settling into a groove here at Elephant Plains: outstanding wildlife viewing, delicious food, a luxurious room, spa treatments. Really, what's not to like?
It feels terribly awkward, and Craig and I are really uncomfortable. You're far enough away from the other guests that you can't really have a conversation with them, and yet you're in a group setting and it feels like you're supposed to socialize. The fire in the middle of our circle, combined with all of us looking across at each other, makes me feel like I'm on a reality TV show and that there is going to be a vote to decide which one of us is going to be thrown into the fire pit. We feel like we're on display; like we're being watched. You might say we feel like the animals do when a safari vehicle drives by.
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.
When we get back to camp, it looks like the staff are getting ready for some big shindig on the main lawn. There are banners up, tables out with AP swag, the Ingonyama dancers are waiting in the wings, the staff are dressed up in their best khakis, and the elephants are wandering around. Elephants? We've never seen them in camp before. This must be something really big.
The MK's have given chase to something, but it's hard to tell what it is from our vantage point. 100 meters up the road we pull up alongside the lead vehicle and see Kali, Mara, Meeka, and Moyo, towering over a sub-adult zebra. The zebra is on its back, braying at the top of its lungs, kicking its hooves, and rolling from side-to-side – still very much alive. One of the lionesses has tucked her face into the zebra's rear end, where it was presumably taken down, and is, literally, eating it alive.