South Africa - Round The World Tour 2003 Day 7

Oliefants (Kruger National Park)

Wednesday 19th March

Today was one of the most exhausting days so far, but also one of the most rewarding. We are both thoroughly exhausted after a solid nine hours straight on the Safari trail. We got up at five thirty this morning and were on the road at six. We did not get to the next lodge until gone five in the afternoon. I’m very tired and the battery on the laptop is almost gone so I will keep things brief.

In addition to the wealth of animals and birds that we saw today, we experienced something that few people have, or ever will, see. We were looking at a big group of Baboons when all of a sudden we saw two Lionesses just a few feet away from us. The Baboons also noticed them and became extremely agitated. Literally just a few feet away from us, the two predatory cats had isolated a young Baboon in a tree and were circling below it. The Baboons were going crazy and some even jumped up on top of our car (and left plenty of ‘evidence’ also). We thought that the Lions would never be able to get to the baby Baboon but after just a couple of minutes, one of them started to climb into the tree whilst the other stood vigil below. We saw the Lion lunge for and grab the baby Baboon. When the mother came to attempt a rescue, the other Lion snapped her too. The whole spectacle lasted just a few minutes and took place less than 15 feet from our car. At one point, the Lions were looking straight at us through our open window. We chatted afterwards with one of the park wardens who happened to see what was happening as he drove by and also stopped to watch. He told us that after working in the park for over six years, he has never seen anything like it. I was shaking for 15 minutes afterwards from excitement.