Private Guide Richard Avilino reports back on his most recent Botswana safari…
I was leading a six-night trip to DumaTau and Little Vumbura camps in the Linyanti and Okavango Delta respectively.
Our first afternoon drive at Little Vumbura produced an amazing sighting of two young male lions moving across a floodplain. The two brothers headed in a southerly direction, ending up at an island where one of my guests spotted a female lion lying down.
As we approached the lioness a big male lion appeared on the left side of our vehicle, walking towards a fallen tree. Before the male lion got to the fallen tree the lioness stood up and walked towards him… and as she approached I realised from her posture that there might be something under the fallen tree, covered by the grass. She walked over and lay down close to the tree, and after few minutes cubs appeared from the lair and came to suckle from mum. What an incredible sighting.
Lion cubs are born in a well-disguised lair where they remain hidden while they are so tiny and helpless. Their eyes open at 3 to 11 days, they can walk at 10 to 15 days and run at 25 to 30 days. They are able to scratch on their first day but can bite only after their milk teeth erupt at 21 to 30 days.