Cape Town - This footage shared by Latest Sightings shows just how complicated pride dynamics can be - and it certainly leaves us hoping that the five lions on the prowl in West Rand are captured quickly.
Shared by Rodney Nombekana, it sees an exciting take-down and confrontational lion encounter in the Pilanesberg Game Reserve, captured on 16 August.
Nombekana says, "A day after my Kruger National Park safari, I had to take five clients out on a Pilanesberg Safari.
The self-employed safari guide says it is a day he will never forget. Not only was it his second time watching a full hunt & kill in his entire guiding career - but it was also a very rare case of seeing young male lions being ousted from a pride.
But the build-up to the incredible sighting took instinct and a good understanding of animal behaviour patterns. Nombekana's group were treated to a few highs and lows during the day before they finally hit the Pilanesberg sighting jackpot.
"I entered at Bakubung gate with my guests and decided to drive to the centre of the park. As we descended from Kubu, one of the main roads, I noticed some cars standing still.
'Beautiful sighting of two young lions'
"I decided to investigate and upon arrival, we were treated to a beautiful sighting of two young lions just as the morning sun was breaking.
Nombekana says his guests were overjoyed and they could not believe their luck.
But he said it was rather unfortunate that the sighting was taking place on the busiest road in Pilanesberg, and it was only a matter of time before it became crowded.
"I decided to leave the sighting and drive off to look for other animals. As I pulled out, I met a friend, Joel, who told me that there were more lions on Mankwe Way Plains, another beautiful spot in the park.
"I, however, decided to search Thlware Motlobo road first, and, as luck would have it, something caught my attention behind the bushes. It was light in colour and as I looked closer I noticed it was a young male leopard sleeping a mere 10m from the road.
'We couldn't imagine the day getting any better'
"My guests could not believe their luck again and we couldn't imagine the day getting any better."
Nombekana says they spent a good 15 minutes watching the leopard before any other car drove past.
" It was a Mankwe Game Tracker car, and as they passed us without noticing what we were looking at, I stopped them and pointed towards the leopard."
Nombekana says he then decided to leave the leopard and go back to see the lions on Mankwe Way.
"Unfortunately, they had moved deeper into the tree-line as it was getting hotter. I thought to myself I would come back in the afternoon on my way out as they would probably come out into the plains."
'Rest of the day was fairly quiet'
Nombekana explains the rest of the day was fairly quiet considering how well it had started.
"My last route of the afternoon would be Mankwe Way again, to check on the lions."
"As I approached the Mankwe Plains, I hoped to see the lions but couldn’t spot them anywhere. Getting ready to leave, I noticed a limping zebra coming towards us. I was very excited because I knew that if the lions spotted it they would go for it.
"I took out my binoculars and scanned the plains and yes, two familiar shapes popped out from behind the bushes far down by the trees. They were watching a limping zebra intently."
What happened next blew their minds says Nombekana.
"The lionesses were very far away from the zebra, and only one decided to stalk it. She went around the tree-line as the zebra moved slowly along on its way.
"We soon lost sight of her and when she reappeared again she was less than 80m away from the zebra. One on my guests actually spotted her and within a minute she had stalked the unsuspecting zebra and was on top of it."
'Two males ousted from the pride'
The kill was done and dusted within moments, and the whole pride appeared to join in on the feeding frenzy.
However, Nombekana says two young males within the pride, who appeared to be at the age where they need to be ousted from the pride were attacked when they tried to join in on the kill.
"It seemed as this was the moment of them being ousted, something that is almost never seen in person! What an incredible day for my guests who were on safari for the first time."
"No amount of words can describe such a sighting. You just have to be there to experience it. As it was already time for gates to close, we had to leave the sighting just after the kill and before they all started settling down to eat."
When mother-nature bestows such an opportunity, embrace it and be present, for some people will never ever see something like this in their life time - so join me on safari in Pilanesberg and Kruger National Park”.
To join Rodney Nombekana on a safari, contact Bookings@latestsightings.com.
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