Mahurushele Camp 03 to Molosi Pan and back (Khutse Game Reserve)
Distance : 108.3 km
Chirp of the day : Nico, with a piece of dry wors in each hand, “Balanced diet”.
We were all up before sunrise, coffee percolated and downed with a few rusks before heading out for a morning game drive to Molosi Pan.
On arrival we found the pride of lion scattered across the pan, most of them lounging around in the morning sun. A few of the youngsters would play catch briefly before flopping down into the long grass again.
While we were sitting watching the lion to the south of the pan, a small herd of giraffe slowly eased out of the bush from the north and made their way down to the waterhole. The lead giraffe spent a some time edging closer to the waterhole while keeping an eye out for the lion. Eventually he leant down and began drinking but was soon up again, shifting nervously away from the water. The rest of the herd remained 30m back, keeping lookout.
The whole herd then moved around the waterhole and headed south towards the area of the pan that the lion were occupying. Bizarrely, they then started running at an angle past the lion, not more than 100m from the closest one before stopping and looking at the bemused felines.
This was it, we thought, the lion were about to sample a little giraffe tartar!
The giraffe then had another little burst for about 50 metres, stopped, milled about for a while, checked the lion out again and then wandered into the bush. Absolute disinterest from the pride, just a few yawns and heads down again.
30 minutes later the giraffe re-appeared north of the waterhole and wandered unconcerned up to it and began drinking. To all intents and purposes, it looked like the giraffe had deliberately run past the lion to see how hungry they were. When there was no interest, they doubled back and had a relaxing drink with none of the pressure associated with being on somebody else’s lunchtime menu…
After spending another half an hour watching the lion doing absolutely nothing we headed back to camp for breakfast and a quite day re-arranging cargo between the vehicles.
Later that afternoon we headed back to the waterhole in the hopes of finding a bit more activity but this was not to be. The lion had had an even more relaxing day than us and were still spread around the pan.
This is when you realise that, once you get out of the car, you are no longer at the top of the food chain…
We ended up watching the sun set behind a pair of springbok play fighting near the waterhole before heading back to the camp for a well deserved supper.
Facts for the day:
Distance 108.3 km
Min Alt 901.250 meters
Max Alt 1099.500 meters
Max Speed 453.8 km/hour
Avg Speed 8.5 km/hour