In a National Park such as Pilanesberg, where off-roading is not allowed, a lot of our better photographic opportunities come when the subjects decide to walk on the road. Of course, luck plays a large role here!
On this morning, luck was on our side. We heard of a lioness with cubs not too far from where we were and decided to have a look. Not long after we got to the sighting, the lioness was on the road and kept looking back to the long grass. After hearing the unmistakable low and soft call of a lioness to it’s cubs, we knew the little ones were going to be following her soon.
As the two full bellied fur balls (which look to be at least 10 weeks old) came tumbling out, it was clear to see that these cubs were not shy at all! What I’ve found quite interesting when viewing cubs, is noticing the different personalities and traits shining through from such a young age. In a lot of litters, you can see shy/nervous cubs, brave individuals and tight bonds forming particularly between young male lion cubs. These two didn’t care about us being there at all and stalked and played with each other on the road for a few minutes before following their mother towards the rocky hills where they disappeared.
Hopefully we will see much more of these little personalities in the months to come. The mortality rate of lion cubs in their first year is around 50% and rises to about 80% mortality overall, so we wish these two good luck on their journey to adulthood!