Garonga, Lions, Safari

Safari Camp Stories: Josia’s favourite animal

My name is Josia, and I am a guide at Garonga. I have been working as a guide for above ten years now. I would like to narrate once more about lions, we had the best lions sighting last week with the guests and “The Garonga pride”.

Garonga, Lions, Safari
Josia and his favourite animal – lions!

The Garonga pride is a big pride of 13 in total, two dominate males three lionesses, cubs and sub adult cubs which is an outstanding pride to come across. Having had them the whole night before the guests’ arrival, roaring we had hope that when guests arrived the next day it would be easy to find them, but it was not the case. When the guests arrived the next day and we met them on arrival and the guests were very keen to go out on the afternoon game drive. The guests were booked in for two nights meaning that if they are interested they would have four game drives. We had a lot of hope to find lions though as they were roaring last night, and we thought that they could still be nearby.

At full strength the Garonga Pride are impressive to see! ©Sophie Barrett

Unfortunately, it was opposite we tried our best to check everywhere but it was not our day, we followed the tracks until we had to admit defeat and instead had some beautiful sundowners. The next day we saw a beautiful elephant sighting and a female leopard sighting with a fresh impala carcass!

Some wonderful sightings but the lions continued to elude us! © Josia Sibuyi and Johnson Ntimane

The third out of fours game drives was the afternoon game drive and the guests specifically requested to see lions, my tracker Bongi had to apply his tracking skills to the lions once again. Whilst driving we found fresh Garonga pride tracks, and Bongi stepped down to track the lions. The whole afternoon game drive was about finding lions, unfortunately, we found other animals but not the lions. We ran short of time before we get them it was getting dark. We had to go back to the camp empty handed, but on our way back we found a breeding herd of buffalos feeding which was another awesome sighting.

 

Seeing a herd of buffalo on the move is very impressive – you don’t want to get too close to those horns! ©Johnson Ntimane

We were left with one game drive, the last morning game drive. The guests were happy, but lions were the only animals missing in their vocabulary. Game drives are like fishing you never know what will happen next. Happily for us it was an unbelievable sighting, we went back where we left tracks yesterday to follow up on the Garonga pride. Fortunately, it was our lucky day we found the Garonga pride before we even started to track them. One of the guests said to me ‘Josia stop there’s something growling!’ I stopped to listen and likely it was Garonga pride feeding on the impala kill. Remember Garonga pride is a big pride for impala, growling was a sign of that everyone needed to fight to get a piece of the impala. What an outstanding finish, our guests were extremely happy and so were we!

Lion, Lion kill, Safari, Garonga
Feeding on an impala is a messy business with so many mouths to feed! ©Sophie Barrett

We look forward seeing you soon.
Warmest regards.
Josia.