|Lion and lioness|
Again we were up at at the gate by opening time the next morning. We planned to see if we could find the mating lions, so headed to where we'd seen the pride of males the evening before.
Of course they were nowhere to be seen, but with the mating couple couldn't have gone to far, so we drove around the area. Just at the spot stopped to talk to a passing safari vehicle, there was a lion slightly hidden from view on our left. It's nice when a safari guide asks if we've seen anything and we can point out a lion right there to them ;)
|Striated heron with a croc in the water|
So we stuck with them for a while and were finally rewarded, not with mating but with another female lion arriving on the scene. She was staring so hard at the other female, that we thought she might attack the lion, but after the male stood up and sprayed around a few bushes, she seemed to calm down and lay near the mating couple.
|African pied hornbill|
And good timing too, as they'd just got up and were on the move - they actually looked like they were looking to hunt, with the younger lions hanging back while the females decided to head towards a lone male impala.
It was a long shot though, and it was soon aborted when the impala spotted one of the lionesses and bolted. But after a bit of play between the youngsters, their attention was soon riveted on a small herd of impala on the marsh.
Slowly they stalked their way towards the impala, but the antelope must have sensed something was not quite right, and soon they had headed through the dried marsh and into the bush on the other side.
While one of the females followed them, the rest of the pride held back and went to drink some of the stagnant water collecting in the marsh pools.
And that's when they came onto an unexpected find - a decaying carcass of what seemed to previously have been a wildebeest. It looked pretty old and dried up but that didn't stop the lions from trying to get every last bit of meat from the carcass.
We couldn't get too close because of the marsh, but it was entertaining to watch 3 of the lions trying to rip apart what was left of the rotten kill.
After leaving the lions, we headed to a nice spot to have lunch overlooking the river and photograph a few birds before doing the afternoon drive. Not long after we started, we found another mating pair of lions. It was the lone female that we'd seen the day before who seemed to have found one of the males of the pride of 5 males.
|Eating a rotting carcass|
The mating couple had found themselves a nice shady spot under a tree near the river. Unfortunately their mating was pretty unenthusiastic compared to the original couple we'd seen, so we left them after about half an hour to carry on our evening drive.
|African fish eagle|
As luck would have it, nothing came out or went in, and in the end we had to race back to make sure we made the gate closing on time. We did... just...
|We suspect these hippos were mating...|
We spent the evening camping out in the Selous river lodge car park. We'd known when we'd booked in that we could camp for the first 2 nights in the campsite, but the 3rd night was fully booked.
Luckily the owners had said it was fine if we didn't mind camping in the car park for the 3rd night, and with a roof tent and the very minimal setup we do for camping, it wasn't too much of a hassle.
|Chilling out in the car park|
In fact, with the new campers being a loud group of about 16 campers, it was actually a lot quieter in the parking lot and we spent the evening relaxing and listening for the bushbabies.