Lion Hunt at Makenyani Pan

In the Middle of a Lion Hunt at Makenyani Pan

The mere possibility of the exceptional unfolding in front of your eyes is one of the things that keeps us guides motivated to come back day after day. You never know what you are going to see or experience when you are out here…

One hot afternoon, I headed to a watering hole called Makenyani Pan with a group of guests to see if any animals had come around for a drink. What we saw there was a sighting I will never forget. As I drove into the pan, I drove straight into a lion hunt!

One lioness was on the western side of the pan and the other four were on the eastern side. The female to the west was, what I describe as, the ‘jack in the box’ and the other four were the ‘ghosts’. In other words, the one lioness was going to jump out and scare the prey in the direction of the other lions, who would carry out the kill.

We watched in silence as the one on the west made her move towards a group of unsuspecting wildebeest, which then fled in fear, unknowingly, towards the concealed group of lions. The strategy worked! The lions, amazingly, managed to take down three wildebeest. A feeding frenzy ensued, until they all had their fill.

Over the next few days, jackals, hyenas, and vultures also fed on the carcasses, until little evidence remained of the carnage that took place that afternoon at Makenyani Pan.

Words and photo by: Mike Burnard



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