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Daily Diary: Duba Plains - Animals in the Ethereal mist and Silver - Eye and her pride go on a hunt
A busy, busy day.
As planned, the ODP Safari group headed out really early to try and catch up with the lions. Both prides that had been seen in the previous days had not eaten for a while and were therefore sure to be hungry.
This morning was lovely and very misty, and as the first golden rays of the sun began to pierce the mist, the pride of seven lions appeared ... it was almost ethereal as they materialised from nowhere.
The pride proceeded to have great fun. They used the mist to stalk each other, ambushing and pouncing unexpectedly, playing, rolling around, and frolicking happily, giving the photographers ample opportunity to capture some amazing images. The lighting, the mist, and the action all combined to create an unbelievable atmosphere, and the cameras worked hard to record the really special time.
The group decided to go in search of the buffalo. They had been left with Silver-Eye in close proximity yesterday.
The journey took longer than expected because the mist and lighting produced more and more wonderful opportunities as lechwe,
tsessebe and other game appeared momentarily out of the golden mist ... just long enough for more fabulous photos.
Catching up with the buffalo who were on the move, everyone peered around anxiously for Silver-Eye and her pride.
Sure enough, there she was, accompanied by four lionesses and a very large male ... the dominant male from the territory.
And yes, they were off to catch up with the buffalo.
The action began ... the hunt started in earnest.
A buffalo was isolated and the peaceful scene changed dramatically and very suddenly - the chase was on.
Wow! The photos of the action ...
But although the chase was unsuccessful for the lions, it was most successful for the photographers.
Just as everyone settled down discussing and comparing images, a second chase started as abruptly as the first.
Another unsuccessful chase for the lions, and another period of great success for the photographers.
Whew! It was getting late, and as the buffalo and lions decided to rest after the exertion of the chases, the ODP group enjoyed lunch out on the Plains again.
A quick rush back to the buffalo immediately after lunch. All were still resting peacefully.
Heading back toward the Lodge, there were the seven lions from earlier in the day. Now, in the golden light of the setting sun, they were playing again.
They had caught a tortoise, and were playing with it. They rolled it on the ground. They batted it back and forth. They scooped it into the air, and pounced on when it fell again, they tossed it all around, enjoying the game.
And the cameras caught it all.
Surely one of the prides of lion will eat tomorrow ...