Volunteer Diaries
April 9, 2014

The Life of a Lion

It is early afternoon in the iMfolozi Park in South Africa. The sun is out and the day is warm. We are on the back of the bakkie. Our wildlife monitor, Axel Primmer, is at the wheel, in control of our lives, weaving back and forth trying to avoid as many holes as possible.We are travelling along one of the many roads and see some tourists stopped, looking very happy, taking lots of pictures. At first we spot some antelope at the waterhole, drinking, relaxing…taking a break.Then, upon a closer look, we noticed a pride of lion. They too are relaxing and enjoying the warmth of the sun. We pull off the road and write down our sighting. A pride of eight lions. Wow! What a sighting for this Canadian girl. One of the many dreams I was looking forward to on this four week journey has just been realized.

lion on the river bank

two lioness

The pride has just finished feeding on a zebra that they had killed this morning. A couple of the lions are still feeding, the leg of the zebra is moving in the tall grass as they pull and tug to get to the good stuff.

lion on a kill

The other lions, are lying on the rocks, too fat and full to move. They lift their heads once in a while when they hear a noise that is a nuisance. You can only imagine what they are thinking, “leave me to my nap, please do not disturb me”.

Lions lying at a waterhole

We sit and watch for a while, quiet, peaceful. I have to stop and take in the moment. I am in Africa, sitting next to a pride of lion that just killed a zebra. Soon the pride will be hungry again and off to their next kill.This is an amazing place, everything changing constantly. Nothing stays the same. After all TIA, “This is Africa”!Written by Wildlife ACT Conservation Volunteer Shelley TolandPhotographs by Wildlife Monitor Axel Primmer