African Safari Part 2b – Female Lions

We heard there was a litter of cubs in a wooded area on the savanna.  Cubs are hard to track as the mother will move them every few days.  Emmanuel’s amazing eyes saw the cubs hidden in the grass.  This is what we saw – can you see the cubs?

img_4312

These five adorable 3-month-old cubs came out to play once they got comfortable with us being there, though mother lioness probably would have preferred them hidden as any predator could be near.

They found a log to play on.

img_4348

As darkness was almost upon us mother lioness came back.  Not sure how she felt about us being there and we did not stay to find out.  She was moving quickly, we were also moving, and it was almost totally dark for this picture (hence the quality).

img_4365

The next morning we checked the same spot and the family was still there.  When a lioness has cubs, her mother will often come to help (just like with humans).  One of the two brought back a zebra and the cubs thoroughly enjoyed it.

img_4430

Next the family was off for a trip to the watering hole.  One of the adults stood watch while the other (and the cubs) drank.  Grandma was notably pregnant, maybe a few weeks away from giving birth. img_4448

I was in the rear row of the jeep.  At one point grandma came walking right to me. Emmanuel advised me to be still.  He was confident that she was just going to rest in the shade of our jeep (which was right behind were i was sitting).

img_4469

The hours watching momma, grandma, and the 5 cubs – how they played, ate, drank, cleaned up, interacted, and watched out for each other – was to me the highlight of the safari.  Once the cubs are old enough they would be introduced back to the pride.  The female cubs will stay with their pride their entire lives.  The male cubs however may have to create their own prides at 2-3 years.

See videos of these amazing cats and cubs at African Safari Part 7 – Lion Videos.  The first half of the post features the male lions and the second half features the female lion and her cubs.

Next post is African Safari Part 3a – The Rest of the Big Five – Leopards  followed by African Safari Part 3b – The Rest of the Big Five – Elephants, Rhinos, and Cape Buffalo.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s