The roar of a lion in the night wakes us both up. It’s after midnight, there is no moon. I drop down from the rooftop quickly (it’s that time of night) and don’t stop to enjoy the brilliant sky. A while later another roar… a whole lot closer!
“Dam and I are going to see if we can find them.”
Marnus and his SAN tracker slowly leave the camp in the direction of the most recent roar. We watch them from the roof top tent on top of our Land Rover. The search light dances around in front of their truck… then stops.
“Is the lion that close?”
They take a large sweep around the area. We’re camped in the middle of nowhere in the Nyae-Nyae Conservancy. Together with Marnus we’re in search of two lioness, one might have cubs. Local villagers reportedly saw them. However, a full day driving along sometimes rocky, sometimes sandy dirt tracks reveals no evidence of lions.
Marnus picks a nice open area near a large pan for us to spend the night. We set up our rooftop while he and Dam put up two ground tents. After dinner and swapping stories around the fire we retire for the night.
Lying on our stomachs we watch for the trucks return. They drive past the Landy and swing that spotlight about. Then they move off slowly past their tents and stop.
The sun is just rising and we’re up to learn about their findings. Are we in for a big surprise!
“She was right there?”
Sounds like there were two lioness, but no cubs were spotted. The first lioness was a short distance away where we’d seen them stop first. The second had been laying down within meters of their tent.
When they shone the light on her she crouched down. Not really wanting her to stick around so close they slowly drove over to her. She immediately got up and moved off.
We’re excited to see the spoor (tracks) and both Marnus and Dam all too happy to show us. Marnus and Dam haven’t slept since the sighting. It’s just been too thrilling to actually find the two lioness and see that they’re looking healthy.
For us the roar of the lion at night turned into a real bush adventure. One of several during our few day visit in the bush with Marnus.
Marnus spends much of his time in the Nyae-Nyae conservancy monitoring the lions. His presence and constant communication with the local leaders and villagers keeps poachers and would-be-lion-killers at bay… at least for now.
There’s much more that needs to be done, but for today, these two are safe.
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