Archive for March 2011

My knee survived a lion fight

Tuesday, 1. March 2011

After a rather short night (and breaking the rules by going to the loo), we took on the next game drive.

Johnny left the camp in another direction, straight towards a waterhole close to the park administration.
As is if he knew! (He most probably did. Since grewing up in the area, and being a ranger for numerous years the knows the reserve better than anybody else.)

A picture of harmony: two brother lions and two lionesses.

If this was a desensitisation program for Monique, it was going to be more than one step.
“Oh, my god – oh, my , my god – oh, my god!”
Young, strong lions 5 to 10 meters away.

The most important thing on game drives: Patience

Johnny had patience,
and then
idyll turned into wild.

While his brother was sipping water, the other took his chance, kissings his bro’s mate … and
even more…


Monique dug her fingers like claws in my knee (luckily this time she missed my patella! – I still remember her grip while the transfer from Robben Island). And only let go when we left the bloody scene


The rest of the drive was cooling down.

… the zebra foal, that escaped a kill…


… the moving striped airfield …



… the African Wild Dogs
(one of the most endangered predators)

Same day, another fight

Tuesday, 1. March 2011

After this morning’s experience, Monique was not keen for another game drive, especially since it would have been just us and Johnny – meaning less prey to choose from.

So I joined an American family who had missed the lion’s fight in the morning. They have been at the spot, came later than us (called by Johnny) but left rather soon – lack of patience.

First sighting was a leopard

… turtoise. [to see the full picture, click on it]

It followed:



and GO.

Until we reached a rather big dam, where Patrick, the ranger didn’t let getting pushed.

There comes trouble, a territorial rhino bull is approaching the dam, where two male intruders were waiting.

The smaller intruder calls for attack.

My fellow American co-spectators started cheering for the single: “Go Reddy, go”
Luckily they muted their voices.

Horn on horn they start pushing, measuring their strength.

An elefant, which was drinking at the other end of the dam, is passing by, ignoring the scene.

The fight swung back and forth, one time the intruder in advance, next time “Reddy” gaining ground.

Although slow it kept my co-spectators engaged.

Especially when it seemed that the other intruder was about to join in.

But he decided for the easy way.
Why to fight when you can have a sundowner mud bath?