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: ngamo pride
Rubbing my eyes and trying to will myself awake while the line slowly creeps forward I look across the people gathered with us in the terminal. That's when I notice the hunting rifle cases. It suddenly dawns on me that we’re about to board a flight on our way to Africa to once again volunteer in the name of lion conservation, alongside a group of men who will be traveling there in the hopes of shooting a lion, if not several.
You either get the point of Africa or you don't. If you can't get past the fear of animals, of poverty, the juggernaut of nature, then you probably won't. But if you do stand in it and smell it and listen to it, then it will be one of the biggest, most profound and powerful things you will ever feel.
Kim + Craig: How do you explain the spell places like Africa cast on you to someone who hasn’t traveled there? Bruce Colin: It is the light, the quality of light. That is the magical ingredient for me.
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!
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.