early christmas at sabi sabi

female lion and cubs at sabi sabi

On the morning of Christmas Eve we departed the lodge in the hopes of finding the lion pride which had been seen hunting wildebeest the previous evening.

We moved back into the area where they had been, looking for tracks in order to find out in which direction they had moved. We found the tracks and proceeded to follow!

Anthony, my tracker, put his hand up and told me to turn the vehicle off because he had heard some wildebeest alarm-calling. We followed the sound and soon found one lioness not far from a wildebeest carcass.

She was lying with her back to us, and as we approached her front side, we noticed that she had a few wet patches on her stomach! CUBS HAD BEEN SUCKLING!

Up until this point her cubs were a mystery to us all. They had not yet been found, so we only had clues as to how many there were and their age.

two cubs at sabi sabi

We knew they had to be close by, so we sat in silence for a while.

The mother began giving soft contact calls and shortly after two cubs came waddling out of the tall grass towards her.

We all sat mouths gaping in awe of these balls of fluff. They began to suckle no more than 10 meters from our vehicle, and soon flopped over with bellies full of milk.

They were in full view for all of us to see.

Christmas came early for us all at Sabi Sabi with the most amazing sighting and the highlight for me for 2010.

Let's see what the bush brings us in 2011. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

lion cubs at sabi sabi

by: brett du bois (earth lodge ranger)

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