The cold has crept in with its cloudy skies and “threatening” rain fall. The sun shows its glory during the day in the conservancies and parks, and disappears across the horizon when night falls, leaving behind a breath of chilly air and a calming sensation in the African wilderness.
It is an early morning wakeup call at Porini Lion Camp. A tray with a lovely cup of hot chocolate and freshly baked cookies slides inside my tent. Getting out of the comfort of a warm blanket is only do-able with the jug of warm water that is on that tray, and the anticipation of seeing something out in the plains. Covered from head to toe, and armed with my cameras, I am set for my first game viewing experience within a conservancy.
We set out with our guide, spotter and the cold wind biting at my cheeks. The grazers are out already – zebras, antelopes, topis… all in their blissful state of oblivion of the temperature and the fact that they are being watched.
We move along. In the far distance, we see the lone hyena wandering around aimlessly and we watch the warthog’s famous “antenna” tail, straight as a rod, as it twiddles along to a more comfortable spot. Our driver slows down, and our spotter takes the binoculars and looks across the horizon. All we can see is a cloud of dust but the binoculars are placed down, and the driver increases his speed. “There’s a chase happening over there!” he says.
The cameras are quickly repositioned. Everyone sits straight and stares intensely as we get closer to our destination. I swear I can hear everyone’s excited heart beat. The outside scenery is a quick blur, and the cold biting wind is no longer an issue. The herds get visible as we get closer and the sound of hooves galloping to safety fills the air. There is much confusion as we still cannot see the intruder that’s caused this ruckus with the wildebeests. We slow down as a rising river blocks our path. The binoculars are back up, the photo zoom lens is on, the wildebeests are still running. We finally spot the predator – or shall I say predators? Two sleek coats gleam in the early morning sun as they make their final jump on one of the shaggy beasts who fell behind. Alas, that was his fatal mistake! Paws on the body, jaws in the legs – we watch dumbstruck as the two lionesses ensure their kill is complete.
We drive around and find a path across the river. As we round a bush corner, we can hear the grunts of the wildebeests catching their breath as they mourn the loss of one of their own. We pass them in the morning glory and continue on to see the reason of their unease.
With the distant sound of the groaning wildebeests, the occasional bird’s whistle and the rustle of the blowing wind, we watch the scene unfold in front of us. It is a moment of intense calmness.
This morning goes down as one of the best wilderness moments I have been witness to. As we leave the pride to enjoy their breakfast, our stomachs rumble with a call for their own morning meal.
It was a tremendous “Porini” stay. (Porini means “in the wilds”). If I had to return home right after breakfast, I would have been content. It so happened that our guide decided to take us to the same spot on the afternoon game drive, and early the next morning. No words can be used to describe the circle of life.
The writer of this piece is the marketing executive from Gamewatchers Safaris who took some time out from her busy schedule to explore her own product.