Seeing a single lion kill on a game drive is a special event. Seeing a second one by the same pride of lions less than an hour later is something truly spectacular.
This is what happened when visitors to Sun City booked a game drive into the Pilanesberg Nature Reserve bordering the resort this past weekend.
Game drives are one of South Africa’s global attractions, drawing visitors from around the world hoping to catch a glimpse of the Big Five. And if you truly lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of a hunt or fresh kill.
Knowledgeable game trackers and well managed game reserves can significantly increase the odds of you seeing a predation event, but one still needs Lady Luck to play her part.
So, imagine seeing two fresh kills by the same pride of lions less than 100 metres apart – all thanks to the endeavours of one of the packs lionesses.
Mankwe GAMETRACKERS field guide Tarryn Rae said: “We came across a pride of lions that killed a young zebra that morning. It was the central pride, so there were two males, three females and three youngsters.
“We were lucky as we got to share the sighting with a few of our guests. It was an overcast day so the lions were active during the day because the weather was cooler. The kill happened at 11am so this was on our 10am drive, which is usually too hot to see something like this, so we were extremely fortunate.”
Rae continued: “However, the adult males claimed the young zebra for themselves and were not keen to share and the rest of the pride were forced to move on. Then not 100m further down the road one of the females killed a second zebra which she then shared with the youngsters of the pride and the other lionesses.
“We were so lucky to have not just one but two sightings of lion kills by the same pride,” she said. “This is really not something one sees every day and was an absolutely incredible experience for our game drive guests.”
Rae added that guests on the later afternoon game drives also got to watch the action as the pride was still feeding on the bigger zebra carcass that the lioness had killed earlier.
“Some may view this as rather grim, but this is nature at its rawest and finest,” she said. “I always say that all game drives are different and one never knows what one is going to see. In this case it was something truly special and unique.”