Khwai Concession and Moremi Reserve Lions – Botswana
While we secretly wanted to see lions on this trip, we did not want to say it out loud as we know wildlife has a mind of its own and nothing is guaranteed. When we drove off for our first game drive, our guide Banda asked what we had not seen yet on our trip and the first thing that came to mind was lions – he smiled and nodded as we drove off – “we will go find you lions”. And did Banda deliver – we saw lions every single day at every stage of life. We have so many lion photos, I had to catalog them all here. Enjoy!
We came across a huge pride of lions that included two males, multiple females, 6-8 month old cubs – over a dozen lions all eating a giant elephant. First, I could not get over how darn close we were to these lions and how little they cared – they were so focused on being full, hot, and tired. We sat with them for a long time and the only thing that was unpleasant was the smell – that dead elephant carcass was extremely foul! We all had masks on to try and mute the smell but mouth breathing was the only way to go. Kevin and I just kept looking at each other – how is this real life???
Banda got a radio call from another guide who spotted a different group of lions with two adult sisters and subs and we traveled very fast to get there. When we arrived, we confirmed these were two sisters, one a mom, two cubs (6-8 weeks old). Banda speculated that this was probably the cubs first introduction to the vehicles as the cubs were extremely shy and mom tried to get them to come out. We sat with these lions for awhile as it was just us and the cubs were so stinking adorable.
Later that afternoon, we happen to find the pride from the elephant encounter yesterday but they had moved on wince the elephant spoiled and was probably overridden by vultures.
Banda spotted lions in the open land which indicated they may be hunting. Suddenly we spend up to try and reach them in order to observe a kill. Kills are extremely uncommon and rare to see in action as they mostly happen in the dark of night. We reached the lions and noted three females and two cubs in the back. There were tons of potential prey – many different types of antelope, we even spotted a baby hippo – just born we could see the umbilical cord! But the lions were fairly lazy, one even falling asleep.