First encounter with the wild Makalali
What a welcome from one of the Makalali prides!
The Tembe pride lions caught a bull giraffe on the morning we arrived in the Lowveld and we found ourselves in the midst of the pride who were too busy feeding on the giraffe carcass to notice us. We located the pride in the deep bush by using the silence of the evening fall, just before the nightshift of animals takes over from the day-shift. We stayed with the pride for more than an hour and for many of the Stanford University seminar participants this was their first encounter with wild lions.
Tribute to the Makalali Lions:
“It was just after sunset, sundowner time there as everywhere in the bushveld,
and we sat in the humming night by the glow of our spotlight which casted long shadows towards the slopes of the hill.
Jackals whined now and then and the dry Red-Bushwillow leaves rustled in the cooling breeze.
Apart from these, the night was still and clear and beautiful under a starlit sky.
Suddenly a thudding of feet and a snapping of twigs disturbed our thoughts.
Within moments the scene was filled with flying mane and limbs as two lions catapulted into sight amid moans and grunts of sheer delight.
The two fully grown lion males Masana and Xipogo were greeted by the Tembe pride.
However commonplace it may have seemed to others,
this meeting of wild lions was nothing short of a small miracle”.