Rhinos are not the only African wildlife to be seen at Rhino River Lodge in the heart of Zululand, KwaZulu Natal. In fact being a big five safari lodge means there is always some excitement whirling around on the reserve.
Here is the tale of the lion cubs as told by Rhino River Lodge’s experienced ranger, Frances Hannah:
“We found the three big male lions slumped lazily by the dam. It was early morning and the air was so still that I didn’t expect much from these lazy lumps of fur. But then one brother stood up suddenly and made a beeline for the river. I followed at a distance as the other two brothers become interested. I reversed off the road slightly when we saw their interest was in the sandy coloured female running down the sloping hill towards us!
Charged with attitude, the lioness trotted up the road with an eager male lion behind her. The brother further up the road didn’t seem perturbed as he continued climbing up the slope. A second lioness suddenly emerged from the long grass to meet the curious male. She guided him half way down the slope, urinated on a patch of grass in front of him and left him to be engrossed with her scent.
The grass was long and I could just make out the lionesses figure as her honeyed colour melted into the background, but then my guests in the back gasped “here she comes, with some small ones!”
There they were: 10 week old lion cubs; he first cubs born to our lions, and my very first sighting of them!
Mom gingerly nudged the brown speckled, blue eyed cubs closer towards ‘potential dad #1’. My heart was racing considering how the male would react; would he attack, defend, or destroy? He was hovered over the females urine patch, still besotted with the smell, when suddenly he looked up and was met with a small bundle of fur that was seated at his paws staring into his large eyes. The male looked startled and bent down towards the cub with a determined stance. We all held our breath for this was the moment of truth. The big male lion sniffed the cub’s head, threw back his head, and gave out more of a grunt than a roar. He turned on his back legs and fled the meeting as if dealing with a bad smell. Daddy scampered away, seemingly intimidated by the new kids on the block!”
And that is the tale of the lion cubs. We would like to thoroughly welcome these little cubs to our reserve, and we look forward to watching them grow and showing them off to our beloved guests!