Twenty hours of the day are spent resting or asleep. Another two hours dozing… and, oh yes, time to get up and preserve my reputation as an unfathomably powerful predator.
But first… just a little more sleep. Sorry if I’m shattering your notions of Lion behaviour. They do earn their prodigious rest with amazing displays of predatory prowess and general carnivorous intensity. It’s just that seeing those moments takes tremendous luck and once-in-a-lifetime timing. Most of the time they lay prone, breathing heavily, waiting out the heat, and biding their time.
Don’t think you should get out of the car though. It would be the equivalent of a warm blueberry muffin magically appearing next to you first thing in the morning… it wouldn’t stand a chance. The lions ignore the cars, basically treating them like big moving rocks, but a person hopping out of one would likely cause some excitement.
In the video below, you see that they often get up just to find a better place to get back down.
When the resting is over it is time for the hunt. Night is falling and these two lionesses and a young male are preparing to ruin a wildebeest’s night.
Stretching out those sleepy muscles in preparation.
The male stays behind to continue his rest but keeps a close eye on things.
Another preparation for hunting involves shedding excess weight. Not the sort of thing you normally see on nature shows but that’s exactly why I include it here. Ladies and Gentlemen, pooping lions.
We will start with lions. Here, a powerful male strides through the northern plains of the Serengeti.
The lions in Ngorongoro are accustomed to the moving rocks that pay them daily visits. You are advised to stay in the car because people do get eaten when they step out to get a closer look.
Mating is a vicious sounding act. The lions growl and roar during the act.
Traffic jams like this are a sad daily occurrence. People are always vying for the best position for a close encounter and the lions have to pick their way through the moving roadblocks.
Near Ndutu, a pride sleeps during the heat of the day.
The flies are enough to drive you crazy but the lions seem to cope with them well.
In the northern part of the Serengeti, Lion cubs come out to investigate the noise as we approach. This was a family of nine cubs and two lionesses.
On the Ngorongoro Crater floor, a lioness snarls at her mate. A full post follows tomorrow.