Samburu National Reserve

Lion Cubs In Training

(Click on the images below to enlarge)

Samburu Reserve is one of three interlinked reserves in the northern part of Kenya with the Ewaso Ng’iro River running through them all. Samburu is semi-desert and HOT. Dry red soil gives almost everything a red cast. The river is the life blood where wildlife find water and enjoy the riverine forests along the banks.

While out on an afternoon game drive there we came across a lioness with three juvenile cubs. The lioness was teaching her cubs how to hunt. We learned that her specialty was hunting warthogs. All four were on a small knoll with scrub that provided good camouflage watching and waiting for likely prey.

The prey in this case was a group of Somalia Warthogs that was slowly working its way towards a path that ran along the side of the knoll. From our position we couldn’t see the warthogs, but we know it was a small group that looked like these.

As the warthogs got closer the lioness signaled to her cubs to be on the alert. They all watched intently until mamma gave the signal to get into position. Then, one by one each cub quietly got up and silently went down the back of the knoll to arrange themselves strategically for the ambush. Mamma stayed put, leaving the cubs to prove themselves.

There were sounds of a squirmish and we saw lots of dust. One of our guides saw the warthogs flying off all in different directions which apparently confused the cubs. The result was Warthogs 1, Cubs 0. Mamma could not believe that her cubs had entirely missed the well planned opportunity. Obviously they needed more practice.

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