The next morning, after a good night’s sleep, I opened the patio doors to see this sight. People were hot air ballooning on safari! (We didn’t do that. But it was cool to see.)
Had one more great meal, where I heard the young’un’s talk about seeing a hippopotamus about 30 feet from the pool at the resort! More good coffee, and we were off. All the guys were talking about, “if we could just see a male lion, that would be so perfect.” I KNOW. Can you believe that was one of the first things we saw??? Yeah, we actually saw two male lions and one female. Ruh roh. So right away after our three vans pulled up, the one male and the female moved away from us. Never fear, our trusty van drivers just went over a hill and around a curve and found them again. They didn’t seem particularly pleased to see us.
The female got up and moved again, and she moved by going right between two of the vans. I am not kidding. They were about two feet from either van when they walked through.
Our driver explained that it was mating season, and the other male lion that we had seen was ‘the loser.’ He stayed behind this hill and kept an eye on everything that was going on. It was just like you see in the nature movies.
And yes, they ‘did it.’ (Picture edited for my G-rated blog) It was the end of the mating season, our guide explained, so there really wasn’t much to it. But if you must know, our guide said that they mate for an entire week, up to 72 times a day, and they don’t eat for the entire week. No comment.
Now that I review these pictures, it seems like we saw more ‘activities’ this day than the others. Here’s a young warthog nursing (ouch.)
We went back by the river and got to see a group of hippos out of the water.
We saw a lot of elephants this day.
Then, just when I thought we were through, the drivers suddenly turned to the left and took off! We rounded a curve and saw this guy. Yeah, another cheetah, kind of far away again. But this time he was watching a whole herd of impalas or gazelles. We watched him watching them for what seemed like forever. Eventually most of them moved away. But one of them looked like the proverbial deer caught in the headlights. It just stood there, stock still. Obviously sensed the cheetah. We watched this for another long time.
And then the strangest thing happened. A big warthog came trotting across the plain, right between the deer and the cheetah, and climbed up this small hill, turned around and stationed himself right there, like he was doing something really important. I tell you, it was like watching a great drama unfold.
And then, all of a sudden, the cheetah sprang! Of course, immediately he was out of sight of our vans. The drivers took off and found the cheetah right away. And even though I hate watching ANYTHING be killed, I wouldn’t let myself look away.
When the poor little deer was all dead, he put it down and just watched it. The driver said he had to recover from his exertion, and also had to watch out for hyenas. Just like the nature shows!
He really is a magnificent animal, isn’t he?
Later on our driver was explaining that the warthog provided confusion and distracted the deer so that the cheetah was able to take advantage of the situation. I asked him, “But what was the warthog doing? And he said, “Oh, he was just being silly. That is what warthogs do.”
The end. And just like our host had said, we certainly did see how God blessed Africa with something that He did not give to Europe!