Notch looked great, a little stiff in his gait but given he must now be around 13 years old not bad for an old fella. Canines still intact and surprisingly not too worn and a mane that surely cant go any darker! Truly magnificent.
The cubs had a great time frolicking around with a wildebeest tail they had found on the plains with the one of the pride pride lionesses also joining in on the fun. Simply put it was a great family moment. Notch sat and watched, reluctant to join in but tolerant (to a point) of the cubs mischievous antic's around him. In between bouts of playtime and taking rest breaks the cubs enjoyed his company and sat close by. It's always hard not to put human emotion to animals (the golden rule!) but both Andy and I could not resist the odd giggle at how cute they looked against his huge bulk and how they seemed to be enjoying the company and quality time with Notch.
The tone turned a little more serious when two buffalo approached nearby and signalled a vocal and postural signals that they were not happy of the lions presence. The remaining cubs that were present, and some of the females (some had by now retreated to the long grass for a nap further way) positioned themselves safely on a mound and watch with intense curiosity as Notch firmly positioned himself in front of cubs and warded the buffalo away. He had rapidly gone from lazing around to his role of protector of the pride. The buffalo soon moved away and Notch resumed his horizontal position as the light faded, which signalled the time for us to go back to camp and get ourselves set up for the night.
No sign of Notch's elder sons, who have now reached their prime. However, the trip is by no means over yet!
What a great day to the start our three week trip.