Love is Deaf

The last week of our trip to the Kruger in October 2017 was based at the Biyamiti Bush Camp.

We had been there for a few days already, and had during this time developed quite a good rapport with the very knowledgeable assistant camp manager Bridgeman Zulu. Frequently we would see him out on a game drive with his paying customers. He would stop to have a chat with us and exchange news of interesting nearby sightings.

On this particular morning we were enjoying extended eyeball to eyeball contact with the resident hippo at the Biyamiti Weir. Bridgeman, on his way back to camp from his early morning game drive, stopped for a quick chin wag. He informed us of a pair of honeymooning lions some 6 km further along the road, and to top it all, he confirmed they were on the road, and, most importantly, without any spectators. Duly noting the information received, we drove slowly in the direction of the amorous felines.

Sure enough, we eventually found the two lovebirds. The male was lying under a small tree, and the lioness about 30 meters further along under a bush right at the edge of the road.

We were the only people there, so we decided to park our vehicle on the opposite side of the road to where the lioness was lying and wait for the action to start. After 10 minutes or so there was still no action, other than the arrival of two jeep jockeys with their overseas visitors and two further cars. The 5 vehicles formed a concentric amphitheatre with the lioness on centre stage, with us occupying the best seats in the house.

After a while the male came ambling towards the lioness, entering stage right from behind one of the jeeps. The tourists on the jeep could have, if they had been brave or mad enough, stroked him while he passed by. They just sat there frozen, not uttering a sound.

As the male approached the lioness, she turned to face us head-on. The male walked up behind her, turned, and then got on with his job.

All you could hear was cameras clicking away furiously, our’s included.

Suddenly all hell broke loose. A car’s alarm system decided to go off at the height of the nuptials.

Apparently the Toyota Fortuner that we had rented has some or other feature that automatically activates the alarm if the car is switched off and stationary for a specific amount of time. When we moved around inside the car it must have set off the alarm – resulting in total panic, which obviously, is not very conducive to activating the logical thought processes necessary to rectify the problem quickly. It took at least 10 seconds until I did something that miraculously stopped the racket.

Sheepishly I acknowledged my “guilt” and gestured my deep apologies and embarrassment while at least 20 pairs of eyes stared daggers at us.

Turning my attention to where I had last seen the lions, I saw they were still there and still very much in love. From comments received later from the others, the two had evidently just continued with their business during the commotion as if nothing was happening.

They say “love is blind” – I on the other hand have proof that love is in fact totally deaf.

A quick question. Am I the only one that thinks that the male lion looks absolutely ridiculous during his performance? Silvia and I couldn’t stop laughing when we first saw the shots we had taken.

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