Lions grimacing

We were enjoying a cup of coffee early one morning in a big open area when the tracker spotted a large male elephant close by. He was minding his own business under a fruiting marula tree about 80m away. We finished our coffee and drove closer to him. It was the large broken tusk male elephant and he was relishing every marula he could get! In fact he circled the tree several times, each time picking up the fruit he had previously missed. This time of the year the elephants take full advantage of the marula fruit and can spend a lot of time at each tree picking up the fruit off the ground. This often makes tracking them a lot more difficult as they move from tree to tree, zigzagging all over the place. We spent some time with him as he was very relaxed. A really great sighting!

We had not seen our two dominant male lions for a day or two when we heard roaring all night and into the early hours of the morning. We managed to track them and were rewarded with a great sighting. The smaller male had a bad limp on his back leg, probably from fighting with the other male, although when we were watching them they looked like the best of friends as they strolled down the road together. We were following them when one of the lions stopped at an interesting scent patch on the road, closely followed by the other male. Then they began to display a facial grimace known as flehmen. This enables the vomeronasal organ to detect very faint pheromones left by other lions or animals. This was a great photo opportunity, seeing them both “smiling” for the camera! Say Kwa-Mbiliiiii!