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Brothers in Arms

Following the photographers....

Sometimes you just get lucky when it comes to game viewing. Making another supreme effort to get up at sparrow fart and get to Etosha's Von Lindquist gate at sunrise, we were tootling along when up ahead a smart dual cab was stopped on the wrong side of the road. Whenever we spotted a stopped vehicle immediately as you approach you check which direction they are looking in. We didn't even have to check as their huge camera lenses were stuck out the right side windows and pointing directly at two magnificent male lions camped under a small bushy tree only metres off the road! Oh lucky day! It was pretty evident that these people were professionals - the passenger not riding in front but kitted out with all the camera gear in the back. As if on cue, the two lions, perhaps a bit miffed that they were now being gawked at, got up in an unhurried fashion and starting walking right up to our two cars. We quickly surmised they were heading for a morning drink a the waterhole only 100 metres away on the other side of the road. They sauntered right by in front of us and we were able to get some great photos and really appreciate their presence. Of course as soon as they had crossed the road the photographers, us and the by now two extra vehicles promptly did a quick u-turn and headed across to the waterhole. One lion went a little ahead but the other took his time marking his territory by spraying urine on numerous bushes and then rolling around on his back in one particular spot which was all fantastic stuff for us as we hung on his every movement. Getting in quick we managed to get a good vantage point to continue watching them drink at the waterhole. They stayed for a while, taking their time drinking before ambling up the slope and flopping down under a tree 40metres or so from the waterhole. Realising they probably wouldn't budge till late afternoon we took off pysched up and keen to see more animals. As we drove around the the windy track away from the waterhole to the main road it was amusing to see a logjam of animals - zebra, wildebeest and springbok - all stalled in their efforts to get to the waterhole. They must have smelt the lions because they were not visible to them and they were not going near there until the coast was clear! As we passed by again an hour later, they were still there waiting! As the temperature soared we headed out of the park and made the 100km trip to Tsumeb to buy meat and other groceries (due to the debacle they call a shop at Namutoni). The afteroon was spent sipping Screwdrivers in the bar at Onguma (heaven) and swimming in the pool before heading back into the park for the late arvo drive. Sure enough the lazy lion bludgers were still flat out under their tree and the waterhole was deserted!
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Posted by threedogs 21:16

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