Sabi Sabi yesterday, today, tomorrow

the king’s speech

by Sabi Sabi on June 18, 2013

As the open plains of our northern stretches slowly became visible over the crest of a hill there was movement that caught our eye. All we could see at first was the characteristic slick black mane of Solo as he marched over the grass expanse. We got closer and switched off the Land Rover. What followed next can only be considered a sensory overload.

male lion sighting while on safari at Sabi Sabi Luxury Safari Lodges

He stopped pacing and lifted his head, ears pricked forward as if he was listening to things unheard by us, like there was another whole level of communication we were missing out on. The cold morning air was constricting, every breath culminated in a cloud of condensation. A low rumble was our first clue to the building roar, then as if all his muscles tensed in unison, he compressed the air from deep within.

male lion roaring while on safari at Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve

As it came rushing out, the sound it brought about invaded the morning air, it dominated every other creature that tried to pronounce its presence for the day. Sound so impressive that the bottom of the Land Rover, where our feet were resting, vibrated. He held nothing back and all the effort was made visible by the veins that started to climb his ribcage. After every exhale a column of stream so impressive you wondered if he anything left to give. As each bout became less and less intense we were pulled back to reality and all the hairs on my neck stood on end.

male lion roaring while on safari at Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve

After every roar he stopped and he listened. What Solo was hearing we will never know for sure, possibly other males to the north maybe even the females from the Southern Pride, a third possibility was the Eyrefield male that was found south of him (the direction he primarily focused on).

male lion sighting while on safari at Sabi Sabi Luxury Safari Lodges

He roared on and off for more than an hour, sticking roughly to one area and with not much direction at all. At this stage it is all still speculation but one question remains; is this his speech or merely his introduction?

BY: SIMON SMIT (BUSH LODGE RANGER)

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

karin June 18, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Magnificent. Thank you!

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kevin June 18, 2013 at 4:04 pm

Marvellous Solo, the King’a Introduction !

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kevin June 18, 2013 at 4:50 pm

Marvellous Solo, the King’s Introduction !

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shirley June 18, 2013 at 7:18 pm

Well written. The moment was brought out through the words. Thanks Simon.

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shirley June 18, 2013 at 7:21 pm

Well written. The moment was brought out through the words nicely. Thanks Simon.

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r smith June 18, 2013 at 8:51 pm

An awesome tribute to the ‘King of the Jungle’.

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wendy hawkins June 21, 2013 at 6:32 pm

Thanks Simon, hearing that guy roar, brought back so many wonderful memories of my trips to the KNP when I was younger!

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ronelle June 23, 2013 at 3:40 am

Beautifully expressed both by the King and his “scribe.” Nice writing Si.

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simon June 23, 2013 at 10:31 am

Thanks for all the comments everyone. Great to be able to spend time with this male, especially when he is roaring!!!

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