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A Familiar Face

For the first time since we arrived the afternoon rains had not arrived and the afternoon today was clear and the air was hot. We set out at 4:30pm in search of leopard and we followed the thick bush and trees that surrounded the river, prime leopard territory.

In amongst the bush resting underneath the shade of a small thorny acacia tree we saw two lionesses. Both were laying on their sides about 5 feet away from each other clearly struggling in the mid-day heat. One of the girls sat up, facing the other way, her head brushing the trunk of the acacia tree which she began to sharpen her claws on. The other lioness moved her head occasionally but continued to lay down, clearly she was more tired than her companion.

We stayed with them for about ten minutes until another truck arrived and we left the two lionesses in peace.

Later back at camp our guide Francis identified the female sat up by the tree as Akilah. Interestingly enough Akilah was the lioness we had seen on the 13th/14th September with the wildebeest carcass. This was now the third time that I had encountered this five year old female.

Francis believed the other lioness to be younger and potentially without an ID sheet available. Our location was Olormojo and these lionesses were part of the Enesikiria Pride. Seeing Akilah on her own a few days ago and now with company gave me a fascinating insight into the complex society of these lionesses and how they live in a very flexible and informal fission-fusion society.

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