2 Horny Lion Doing It Again… and Again… and Again…

Day 15

Mahurushele Pan, Kgalagadi

Distance : 4.8 km

Shortly after daybreak we had a shy visitor our camp. A brown hyena drifted out of the bush on the pan side of the camp, stopping at the tap to see if there was any water available. Then, as quickly as the hyena appeared, it turned and disappeared from where it came. As they are normally a nocturnal animal, we were pleased to have such a clear daylight sighting of the animal to go with a blurry sighting late the previous evening.

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The brown hyena population is estimated to be less than 10 000 and its habitat is limited to the dry, semi desert areas of Namibia, Botswana, southern Zimbabwe, South Africa and southern Mozambique. Areas of active conservation include Etosha, Central Kalahari and Kgalagadi parks.

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Nico and his pet spurfowl

We decided to have a quick trip down to the waterhole before breakfast. This turned out to be an excellent decision. As we drove up to the waterhole we saw two lion – a male and female – laying in the pan 100m from the waterhole. We stopped the vehicles and settled down to see what they were up to.

A short while later the female stood up, fixed the male with a steely look and walked purposefully over to the him where she proceeded to briefly nuzzle him before waving her rear in his face.

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The Look…

It was like someone had injected the male with a cocktail of viagra and testosterone!

Within seconds he had mounted the female and, within a few more seconds, was hitting the short strokes. Literally within 20 seconds he jumped off with a roar as she snarled at him and took a hefty swipe at his right ear – a move that he dodged so deftly that it must have been a regular end to their mating ritual!

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The Mount…

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The Dismount (and dodge)…

The male then let rip with a few roars to let everyone within listening distance know that “he is the man” before collapsing in a heap. In the meantime, the female had also collapsed where she lay for a few minutes before rolling onto her back for a short nap…

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Bragging…

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The Post Coital Nap…

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Her : Aaaaaaaahhhhhhh….. Him : I think I’m getting a headache… [Is it possible for a male lion to have a ‘hang dog’ look?]

This same scenario played out four times in the 45 minutes that we sat watching. Obviously, what male lions lack for in staying paoer they more than make up for in recovery and repeats.

Another interesting thing we observed : doves would start appearing from all directions, landing in the bushes ground near the waterhole. All of a sudden, as if they have received a silent broadcast, they take off, form into a flock and circle the water hole a few times before descending on it to drink. Then, just as suddenly, they all take off and disperse in differing directions back into the park.

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Doves ganging up on the water hole

Later, back at the camp site, a vehicle arrived with a couple and their young children. They stopped and asked us if we knew of any lion nearby, which we did, and passed the info on to them. In the brief chat that we had they mentioned that they had been on the road for 9 weeks and, intrigued, we invited them to stop off for coffee once they left the pan so that we could hear the full story.

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An hour or so later, the Vermaaks (Gert and Rechelle) arrived back at our camp for the promised coffee. We delivered a coffee to Rechelle and a “soup” to Gert and sat back to listen to their story. With their children about to start formal schooling, they had decided to load up the required camping gear, install fridges and storage space in their vehicle and then set off into south western Africa.

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The start of the “Nine Week Narrative”

The trip started in the Cape where they lived. The travels had taken them up the West Coast, through Namibia right up to the far northern border, across the Caprivi into Zambia, down into Botswana to the point where we were now sitting. Plus a whole bunch of points in between. A good nine weeks to where they now were. And all without even towing a trailer! (The trade off between the flexibility of being able to go just about anywhere and having enough gadgets to be comfortable anywhere).

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The circle shifted in unison with the shade…

Since we were in no hurry to do anything else, the coffee turned into lunch and eventually into dinner. Along the way Rechelle was introduced to Sharpie’s toilet roll holder (and seat), percolated coffee, hot showers (for her and the kids) amongst many other of our “camping comforts”. Judging by the look she gave Gert, and based on her comments, they would be taking a trailer on the next trip!

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That age when all you need to entertain yourself is an empty plastic bottle and a lot of sand šŸ™‚

Eventually, late in the evening, after Santa on Safari had entertained the kids with his “fairy lights” lazer, we sent them off to their camp site at a distant pan. Fed, showered and the kids having had a great day trawling through our camp, their good nights sleep only disturbed by three brown hyenas scrapping around their tent!

Facts for the day:

Distance 4.8 km
Min Alt 927.980 meters
Max Alt 1107.070 meters
Max Speed 71.0 km/hour
Avg Speed 4.2 km/hour

 

 

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