Lions in Pilanesberg

It had rained all night on this day in January 2020. We even got up a little later to give the clouds a chance to clear up. It was still raining as we got into the park and we didn’t really expect any great sightings – we expected the wildlife to be hiding well under the green bushes.

It was therefore a huge surprise when we encountered a pride of lions in an open area, just finishing off their catch of a zebra. The males already had had enough and were lounging on the grass. One by one, the females also walked off from the carcass to lie down. After spending an hour with these magnificent animals, they leisurely ambled off and out of sight.

This is a compilation of some video material I took on this sighting.

Lion with cubs

From the archives:
We went to Madikwe Game Reserve for the first time in 2018, and were blown away by the hospitality and the brilliant sightings we had. This was one of the highlights of our trip: a pride of lions, I believe it was two females and about four cubs, walking around in the early morning light. A breath taking experience!

Elephant herd

A herd of elephants is approaching a watering hole on an overcast day in Pilanesberg National Park. One is testing the air with her trunk, while others mill around, waiting for her approval to go to the water. An impressive sight!

Elephant on black

A young elephant bull on a black background. I know it’s not for everyone, this style of low key editing called ‘black photo’, but it’s what I love. It brings out dramatic contrasts between dark and light in an almost chiaroscuro style.

Male lion

A close up view of a male lion walking past. It was so great to spend some time last January with a pride of lions that had just devoured a zebra. They were lying around, then getting up, lying down again, until they finally moved out of sight into the thickets. While female lions are beautiful, it’s the males that really stop my heart!

Brown hyena

A full body view of a brown hyena standing in the grass, watching me. Brown hyenas are nog considered the most beautiful animals, with their straggly hair and their slanting backs. They are also quite shy, so getting a good picture of one is a feat in itself. This brown hyena was on its way to a zebra carcass that the lions had just left, ready to eat any meat and bones that were left over. In case you are wondering what’s that next to his nose, yes, it’s a spider.

Male lion on a wet morning

It’s a wet morning, but this male lion has nothing to complain about, really. His belly is very full after his pride caught a zebra. A male lion needs about 7 kilos of meat per day to stay in good shape, but when a kill is available they will eat up to 30 kilos in one session. This male looks like it did just that…