Sandibe Photo Safari Group 3 part 2

14th January 2018
The following morning we set off in the beautiful morning light, we stopped to watch a small herd of Male Impala and some Ground hornbills feeding. The Impalas were chasing each other establishing their hierarchy.

After the Impalas we went to visit the Hyena den again, this morning the youngsters were in a playful mood and there was a lot of wrestling going on, one of the adult females suddenly gave a danger signal and the youngsters scurried back into the den with the female looking intently towards the reeds in the distance but after a while they all settled down and the youngsters came out again.

After leaving the Hyenas we spent some time photographing a small herd of Elephants in the marsh channels with one Bull elephant walking past us to join the herd giving us a great opportunity to get some close up detail images.

We then heard that the pack of Wild dogs had been found so we raced off to see if we could catch up to the dogs.

When we arrived at the Wild dogs it was apparent they had already eaten for the morning with some of the dogs having bloody faces, they briefly lay down in the shade before one of the pack members got up and rallied the rest of the dogs and off they went again some play fighting along the way.

A short while later the dogs lay down to sleep and we headed off to have some morning coffee.

After our coffee stop we heard that the 3 lionesses from the night before had been found and they were hunting a baby Giraffe, we immediately headed off to see what was going on.

When we arrived at the Lions we saw that there was a Adult Female Giraffe that had given birth to her baby possibly not more than an hour or two earlier and the Lions were trying to catch the youngster and the mother was trying to defend her calf.

For the next 4 hours we watched the drama unfold in front of us, the female Giraffe would lead her calf away a bit and the Lions would then get up and follow, when the Lions got too close the mother Giraffe would stop and the Lions would back down again, the were a few moments when it seemed the Giraffe had gotten away but every time the lions caught up and the standoff continued.

Eventually the calf seemed to get stronger and was moving more freely and to us it seemed like they were going to escape the Lions, the mother Giraffe got into a open clearing and started to trot away but the calf did not immediately follow, this was the moment the Lions had been waiting for and one Lioness sprinted over 100 meters to catch up to the calf and she pulled it down delivering a death bite to the calf’s neck, by the time the mother Giraffe realised this and turned back to save her calf it was too late, the damage had been done and her calf was dead.

Over the next few hours we watched as the Mother Giraffe stood over her dead calf and prevented the lions from feeding and only once it had gotten dark did we leave the Lions and Giraffe stalemate and we headed back to the lodge, it had been a intense and emotional day in the bush.

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