Treed by the Hollywoods

As Sun-downer time approached, we travelled to a favourite spot of mine, at the top end of Fish Eagle Lagoon. Arriving at the spot, it  was immediately apparent that alighting from the vehicle would be foolhardy, as 10 lions were already resting right there. I recognised them instantly as part of the Hollywood pride and as most were deep in the middle of their afternoon naps, we decided to move off and have our Sun-downers overlooking the Luangwa river instead.

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Standard fare along the section of the river that we visit from Kaingo Camp includes hippos and crocodiles as far as the eye can see.

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As darkness was falling, we noticed that the Hollywoods had decided to join us and they passed close to the vehicle to have their own sun-downers, straight from the river.

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Then they moved off, unmistakably on the hunt as they disappeared into the thickets. We listened to all the sounds of a failed attempt and then moved in search of other sightings.

At the bottom end of Fish Eagle Lagoon we came across my favourite ladies, Malaika and her daughter Chiphadzuwa. As predicted in our post Malaika & Chiphadzuwa – leopards at crossroads, mother and daughter were having a squabble and the heavily laden Malaika soon saw off Chiphadzuwa. We followed Malaika as she walked away swishing her tail, straight into the patrolling Hollywoods! One look at the approaching lions and Malaika shot up the nearest leadwood (Combretum imberbe), perching herself there, possibly resigned to making a night of it.

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When the lions refused to leave, Malaika turned her back on them, and us, and feigned sleep

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while a Verreaux’s Eagle Owl in an adjoining tree peered imperiously at the goings on of the flightless beasts below.

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 A story by Patrick Njobvu.

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