It seems the first traces of spring have brought with it a renewed romance to the animal kingdom. My guests and I were on a Sunday evening drive when we came across a Lion and a lioness lying lazily in the grass. The two were situated on Dead Tree Island in the Moremi Game Reserve, the sun was low in the sky and Venus, the planet of love, had just showed herself creating what seemed like the perfect setting for a romance in the wilderness.
I knew by their body language that they were in the process of mating, the female was looking around and flicking her tail in a slightly ‘flirtatious’ manner. I was very pleased to have come across this sighting and having worked in the bush for a long time, one does not experience these moments very often. I explained to my guests what was happening without giving away the likelihood of the events about to happen next.
The two started growling at one another, the male was circling the female while she pretended not to notice what was going on. Just minutes later the act of mating took place. Even though copulation is short, it is a very memorable experience watching two such powerful animals interact like this with one another.
Lions mating in this manner will be repeated over an approximate four-day period and the act occurs every half an hour.If they conceive, the gestation period is about one hundred and ten days and the average litter size is between two to four cubs. Crossing fingers that we will have new cubs around Okuti in the next few months, WATCH THIS SPACE!
Blog and images by Solly (professional guide at Okuti)