Botswana 2019           Page:  1   2   3   4  

Okavango Delta, Machaba Camp

The following morning we headed out as usual, this time taking a slightly different direction and following the river. We saw birds, impala, as always, and then we came upon a group of female lions with a few cubs. They were mostly lying in the shade and relaxing. Lions doze the day away, sometimes for 20 hours per day. You can see that one of the females has a nasty cut, probably from one of the males in the area. Shaun said that she would keep the wound clean by licking it, and that it would usually heal up fairly quickly.

Bird - Southern Ground Hornbill Bird - African Darter 02 Lion, cub drinking Lions drinking Lion mother and cubs Lion with wound Lion mother nuzzling cub

After watching the lions we headed back to camp for a while, before going out again in the afternoon. There had been just enough rain recently to allow the large herds of elephants to disperse into small family groups of females and youngsters. The older males mostly roamed alone, and every day we would run into one or two bulls. We also found some of the lions from earlier in the day. They were following a small river, and we watched one of them stalking an unsuspecting impala. The lion made herself as small as possible, and it was almost like watching a cartoon of Wylie coyote. She would creep forward, practically on her tiptoes, and then freeze. The impala seemed oblivious to this, but he wandered away just in time.

Bird - Wattled crane 03 Bird - Wattled crane wings Elephant big male Lion leaping

There are two male lions that dominate this part of the delta, (one of them killed the Cape Buffalo the other day). We had heard his brother was across the river mating, and I wondered why it was taking so long. It turns out lions copulate hundreds of times during a mating session that might last for two days. We found the couple late in the afternoon and watched them on and off for a couple of hours. We timed the interval from as little as 4 minutes to as much as 25 minutes. They would copulate, and then she would walk away for a few minutes. Soon she would be back, literally sniffing around, and they would do it again.

Lion sex Elephant sunset

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Created by
Terry Culhane
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