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zimproguide

Meeting all three of the boys on foot for the first time...

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zimproguide

Today there has been something happen here in camp that i will write about in the next few days.....however for it all to make sense i have decided to post some of my old stories. So that anyone who wants, can catch up with some of the things i have been lucky enough to experience and read about some of the animals that i have been privileged enough to spend time with. This is a story from about a year and a half ago.

 

I have met Daniel on a walk....I have met Day on a walk... but I have never met Lewis on a walk. So with that in mind I definitely have never met Daniel Day and Lewis on a walk at the same time. Today was the day..... On an early morning drive this morning we came around a bend to find a bunch of people looking into the distance with their binoculars. We stopped and asked what they were looking at.

 

“There have been lions roaring in this direction for ages and we just can’t see them, they last called a few minutes ago “was the reply.

 

We drove on another couple hundred metres and pulled off the road. My two guests and I jumped out and began to prepare to walk in. I love the feeling when you are just about to go on a walk and look for lions, especially when you know they are close by. I ran through the safety talk and off we went. We made our way in on an Elephant path and headed to an open area that I have seen the lions in before. We had gone about three hundred metre when I see movement on the edge of the clearing. It’s Daniel, he stalking something and is looking away from us. We move forward and crouch down and have a clear view of him at about sixty metres. I am sure he is looking at some Impala rams that i can hear rutting. He crouches down and keeps looking away from us. Then Day steps out not far from Daniel, also looking away from us. After a minute or so they lose interest in whatever it is they are looking at and relax and lie down. I am in the middle of whispering to my guest that it is not often you get the drop on lions and have a chance to see them well on foot without them knowing you are there. As I am finishing what I am saying Daniel does a lazy look round and spots us immediately. He is back in the crouch position in a flash and grunts at us. Day hears and spins round also. I tell my guests not to move. They are now just staring at us and Daniels tail is flicking side to side. Another grunt and Daniel comes two quick steps forward.

 

I just want to say here that i keep writing the word grunt. However this word does NO justice the sound i am trying to explain. If you have heard it before you know what i am talking about, if you have not then you will have to imagine a sound that penetrates your inners! It is a sound that makes all that hear it come to immediate attention!

 

I now tell my guests that as we can all see and hear Daniel is asking us to kindly leave the area... As he is King round these parts we will obey. I tell them to stand up very slowly and make their way back down the path we have just come. As we stand we hear another GRUNT!! Much closer and to our right, Lewis has just joined the party. During the initial commotion he has slunk round out of sight and come for a better look at what is bothering him and his brothers. It takes me a second to spot him as he is so camouflaged in the grass and mopane scrub. He is about twenty metres away and now just holding a steady growl that sound like a V8 with holes in the exhaust. One of my guests starts to make off down the path at what would definitely be called cheating in the Olympic walking race! I quickly call her and tell her to stop and that we must move as a group...slowly... Lewis all the while is making his V8 impression. He then decides we are not leaving the area to his satisfaction and jumps up and runs forward five steps making that noise that only a lion can do and i cannot put into words. He stops and crouches and keeps his eyes on us. When you have a HUGE male lion is crouched fifteen metres away from you making THAT sound and staring....well.... through you with those yellow eyes. It’s a time that anyone who has not experienced it before and for many that have too... will truly feel what fear is. Not fear that you may fail an exam, not fear that you may get caught doing something you shouldn’t, but a fear that cannot be described till you are face to face with an animal in a situation like this one. It takes everyone back to basics...at that point is does not matter if you are Bill Gates or someone who has saved their entire life to go on a safari. You feel alive.....

 

While backing away to Lewis’s music I am telling guests that the further we get the happier the Kings will be and as I am saying it we round a bend and are out of sight of Lewis and on cue he goes quiet. We walk back to vehicle; I take a glance back every now and then just to make sure we are not getting escorted out.

 

In case you have not guessed yet the three resident pride male lions that lord over our area all called Daniel, Day and Lewis, they are brothers and are known as the Mohicans. They were named for ID purposes when one of the brothers was collared by the lion research team here in Hwange.

 

Not bad for a little Friday morning stroll.....

 

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Soukous

@zimproguide

love your stories man.

If you need someone to come take photos to illustrate them I'm here. :rolleyes:

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Atravelynn

Riveting, just riveting. You even have a little comic relief with Daniel Day Lewis.

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Africalover

I like the way you describe GRUNT - facinating stuff.

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twaffle

My adrenaline just kicked in reading that. Amazing.

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Geoff

Wow, that takes me back...

 

Nothing concentrates the mind more than a lion telling you he's not happy with your presence.

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michael-ibk

Got goosebumps reading that. Love your tales from the bush, one gets really soaked in the experience as a reader. Thank you!

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Marks

I'd positively devour a book full of these stories.

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