Lions in a Crocodile Soup

by Mary-Anne Bartlett on October 22, 2018

Yesterday started with the spoor of leopard, lion and hyena all within one metre of sand in the morning light. It was one of those amazing days that South Luangwa allows you to witness, as we saw scenes and sequences unimaginable to any wildlife documentary.

Shortly after seeing the footprints, we watched a hundred crocodiles feasting on an unfortunate dead hippo floating in the river.  Snouts and tails churned the water.

As they spun and tore, a lion (one of the “Punks” we’d seen the day before on our side of the river), watched hungrily from the far bank. 

Slowly, slowly the crocodile feast was moving towards him. The smell must have been irresistible.

Wading gingerly into the river he growled and roared at the crocodiles and was joined by a second male, both with tails aloft.

My camera jammed…

Together they climbed on the hippo and turned it, continuing to roar at the crocodile soup all around them.  Many of the crocs paused their feast and watched, some continued to snap and gobble, creating rings of ripples in the water.

Behind this gory scene a party of elephant bulls walked along the river sand and crossed the river to stand silently and sleeping oh so close to us as we drew them. 

The day continued with more breath-taking moments to paint – then on the night drive Pel’s fishing owl on the Wafwa, a nonchalant leopard wandering around the bush, a baby hippo close to mating lions right by the bridge.

Luangwa days are special.

 

 

 

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