Everyone goes to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in the hope of getting a thumping good sighting of Kalahari lions. Sometimes, just sometimes, they get more than they bargained for.
Within 30 minutes of leaving the entrance gate at Twee Rivieren, we saw a lone cheetah sitting on top of a dune, four lions lazing opposite Houmoed waterhole, and two cheetah walking in the Auob riverbed before crossing the road in front of us.
Over the next few days, though, sightings were variable. Some days we saw almost nothing apart from buck and birds; others were crammed with cheetah, lion, bat-eared fox, leopard, spotted hyena and our best ever sighting of a brown hyena in peak condition. Even a herd of fast-running eland and a jackal munching greedily on a ground squirrel.
The trouble started when a couple of young lions started to nibble the back bumper of their Toyota Fortuner. When hapless Mr and Mrs Fortuner tried to ease away slowly, the lions dug in, hanging on with their mouths and front paws, using their back legs as brakes in a determined effort to stop their new chew-toy from absconding.
Apparently, other visitors on the scene got a huge laugh out of this comical sight. Less funny were the deep tooth and claw marks on the bumper. Imagine trying to explain that to your insurance company back in the Big City.
If you have an exciting tale of a close encounter with a wild animal, I'd love to hear it in the comments below.
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