It had been a quiet safari drive in the Selinda Reserve. Birds were singing everywhere and the smell of wild sage was thick in the air.
We were happily chatting with Vundi our guide, when suddenly we saw a twitch on the side of the road and there in a clump of sage were half the Selinda lion pride. They’d been missing for a few weeks but here they were – a mixture of 10 adults and cubs. They looked to be very interested in a large group of giraffes who were eyeing them warily whilst stripping acacias of their leaves.The Selinda pride is big at the moment. There are 20 lions in all but we could see no sign of the others.
A few of the lions got up and crawled towards the giraffes, but the herbivores had positioned themselves around the bushes ensuring that they could see what was happening from every side.“They have no chance” Vundi informed us. “Giraffes have good eyesight and because they’re so tall it’s definitely not easy to sneak up on them. “
The lions looked as if they thought otherwise and spread out, slowly getting closer to the enormous animals who casually moved slightly further away looking unconcerned. We followed.The entire valley was filled with tall necks. There were perhaps 30 dotted over a kilometer or two.
We had moved close to a group that the lions looked to be targeting and watched the cats checking where the others in their pride were, silently working to position themselves to their best advantage.
Vundi still didn’t rate their chances but it was definitely exciting watching this stealth and he positioned our car in the best spot – just in case.
Suddenly a group of giraffes at the other end of the valley exploded into action and began charging directly towards us! The sound of thundering hooves was incredible as panic quickly swept through the group and more and more started running towards us – and to the lions!
We were surrounded and our lions leapt into action, ready for the giraffes who were not aware that they were running straight into a trap.
Dust rose in clouds and in moments we were in the midst of a serious hunt as a giraffe ran straight into our lions and the chase was on. A young female was right on its heels, reaching out a paw and trying to trip the huge animal whilst not getting kicked by hooves that have the ability to kill.The chase covered a lot of ground but was over in a flash with the giraffe managing to stay on its feet this time and only just getting away. We were left with panting cats, thick dust, the sound of thundering hooves still reverberating and our mouths hanging open at such a sight.The Selinda pride must have split up with the other 10 lions targeting the giraffes on the far side of the valley. They know better than we, what it takes to catch a giraffe. They were unlucky today, but seeing this incredible display of teamwork, we imagine that next time, they will get their meal.