Monday, September 15, 2008



I couldn't go to Africa without featuring lions! In the time I have been here I have learnt quite a lot about them from people like Mitch and I have seen quite a lot of them in Kruger and Kariega.

Things I have learnt:

Canned hunting is big business here in South Africa - especially for white lions. The lions are bred and then released into a small reserve for rich business men to hunt. Because the lions are used to humans and because the reserve is so small there is no real 'sport' in the hunt. Infact these days you can even hunt lions on the internet. Apparently you can logon to sites where you control the direction of a gun (through a paid hunter) to shoot a lion or other game in your lunch hour. They then chop it up and send you the head for you to hang on your wall as a trophy.

Male lions have a claw on their tails! Noone is quite sure what it is for but it seems to be a remnant from past evolution.

When a lioness starts walking towards your vehicle you start backing up!

Lions are incredibly intelligent. They have been known to herd antelope towards fences in game reserves in order to trap them. In Kruger park they chase giraffe onto roads where they slip and fall on the tarmac.

Views of Lions:

In Kruger the best view i got was of a pride of lions eating a zebra. They were mostly hidden in trees but you could see them gnawing away on the legs.

However the best view was of the pride in Kariega. There is a old disused quarry near the volunteer station. On thu last week we went there to get gravel for making concrete for a new braai Just as I was about to jump out of the game vehicle Jacques said we had better look round the corner first. Its just as well he did as there were all 4 lions just round the bend. We sat watching them for a while from the quarry and then one by one they walked right past us down the road. We tried to go after them but they decided to do an about turn and head back up to the quarry - which prompted a quick reverse back up the road!

Another featured animal - flies which are currently flying into my beer as I am writing this - little f"£kers.

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