Around the water holes of Etosha there is always either something going to happen soon, or something has happened before you get there. In the first case you watch the build-up, but then have to return to camp before the gates close.
[divider]You then spend the whole evening thinking about what happened after you left and in a sense it becomes an unfinished story. In the morning you usually get to a water hole and then by simply looking at the behaviour of the animals, or who is there, you must piece together the story of what happened.
We experienced both scenarios this week. On Tuesday, on our afternoon drive up to the water hole at Two Palms, we saw four lions some distance from the road on the way back. They had obviously been resting there for most of the day. As it became cooler, one of the lionesses started taking an interest in a couple of warthogs feeding on the flat land near the pan.
[divider]Eventually she took off after them and the other lionesses followed. The warthog ran like only warthog can – those short steps on those short legs with the tails in the air. They were really moving as the lioness gained on them. We watched in anticipation. To Janey’s delight the warthogs got to their burrow with seconds to spare and were down in a flash.
[divider]On Wednesday we watched a cheetah near Okerfontein charging a springbok. They vanished over the ridge and we did not know what happened. Both of us hoped that the bokkie would somehow get away!
Nothing can however compare with what we saw yesterday and this morning at Chedop, which must certainly be one of the most rewarding water holes from a game viewing point of view.
[divider]We turned into Chudop by chance on the way to Okerfontein and on arrival immediately knew something had happened during the night or early morning. We found nine lions next to the water and in the back ground eight or nine spotted hyenas. There must have been a kill.
The lions were laid back and had just been drinking. They began to move towards the bush, with hyenas circling around them. Suddenly, from the right, a very aggressive group of some 15 hyenas arrived on the scene. They were galloping towards the lions and soon started chasing the other tribe of hyenas. They paused near the lions, but then, once the other hyenas had scattered, they came to the water hole to drink. We could see that they had eaten well – bulging tummies and all. They then ran past the water hole to the bush on the complete opposite side.
One of them was still there yesterday afternoon and we still found him there this morning. His story is an entirely different one and helped us to piece things together.
That is the story of our next blog.