Final evening drive. The target for this venture was a known pride of 23 lions in the area. The pride we saw this morning was one we happened upon, however, the one we were going to look for this time are well established residents. The drive started off fantastic. We went past the hippopotamus and there was a huge crocodile on the bank and (finally) the lighting was in the right place to take a decent photo of a hippo (rather than a black mound in the water).
Now. When it comes to photographing hippo’s, the shot to get is one with the animal yawning – I’m told this is quite rare, however we seemed to see quite a lot of it. Well, you will see that picture below …. Boring …. What’s far more interesting is that a hippo spreads its poo when it takes a dump in order to mark its territory. They come up out of the water and kind of fan runny poo with a little stumpy tail. I feel I have captured this moment quite well in one of the pictures below. Maybe there’s a job for me in poo photography. Anyway, the magic doesn’t stop there. When hippos mate, they do it in the water for buoyancy so that the male doesn’t crush the female. Again, I think I’ve capture this moment quite well in the last hippo shot below. (Is it me, or does the male appear to have a great big grin on his face?)
The lions proved rather elusive for saying there are 23 in the pride and that they are locals. They had moved onto a ridge halfway up the cliff side. After some talented tracking and even more gifted off road driving we found them. Unfortunately, unlike the little cubs from this morning, the lions were not playing ball when it came to posing for photographs. (Also, we only saw 11 of the 23 – I think the others were males and were down the pub or something). Still managed to get off a few shots to round off the last evening out. The pictures taken are of:
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