Early Morning Drive at Ximuwu Lodge
The call of a Crested Francolin heralds the start of a new day.
The horizon is starting to lighten, the air is crisp on this early morning. The smell and warmth provided by a cup of freshly brewed coffee is heavenly.
There is the crackle of anticipation and excitement as we climb on the gameviewer, blankets and hot water bottles are adjusted to keep the chill at bay. We are almost ready to set off when we hear the unmistakeable sound of a male lion roaring. It echoes across the plain in front of the lodge, announcing his ownership of this small piece of Africa.
We come out of the lodge and turn north to where we heard the roaring, we turn onto the airstrip and turn off the engine. We sit in comfortable silence as we watch the sunrise paint the sky in vivid shades of orange, blue and pink, the perfect start to a day.
We are just about to depart when another roar rolls across the bush. We start up heading in the direction of the sound, all our senses tuned as we look for signs of the lion. The tracker holds his hand up, NGALA over there! We all follow where he is pointing and slowly the large cat emerges into the early morning light. The lion is scent marking on bushes along the roadside as he walks towards us, ensuring that his territory is proclaimed.
There is a collective holding of breath as the lion walks straight past us, not even acknowledging our presence, intent on tracking down the pride. We turn the vehicle around and follow him for a while before we get treated to a full-throated roar, the steam giving a visual representation to the sounds we are hearing, but it is more than that, for those that have heard it a lion roar is felt rather than heard. We move on a continue our morning adventures as the large cat falls asleep in the warmth of the morning sun.
This is why we love a morning safari!!
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