Elephant Kill at Savute Safari Lodge

Another spectacular elephant kill has been achieved by the Savute Pride at Savute Safari Lodge. A few nights ago, around 21h30, shortly after dinner, the camp manager went down to the fireplace in front of the lodge to get the fire ready prior to guests arriving for their nightcap. Just as he got the fire started there was a growl extremely close by. A large female lioness was standing only a couple of meters away. Kobus, the camp manager, started backing away very slowly and made his way back to the bar to ensure that everybody was safe and behind closed doors.

Shortly afterwards, Gwist, one of the guides, and Kobus took a vehicle around to the front of the camp to see if the lions were still there before they accompanied the guests back to their suites. Two Lionesses were in front of the fireplace, looking intently at the 150 or so elephants that were moving around the waterhole. On returning to the main area they barely noticed the one female as she was walking past the front of the lodge. A few minutes later everybody could hear the anxious yelps of a pack of wild dog close by. It was very difficult trying to keep everyone inside, knowing exactly what was transpiring around the waterhole, however, as always safety comes first. After less than a minute the panicking bellowing of an elephant could be heard. Very slowly and with great care, Kobus made his way down to the swimming pool deck to see what had happened. The two Lionesses had just brought down an elephant cow of approximately ten years old. Slowly everybody moved into a position from where they could observe the lions, as the staff were unsure where the remaining lions of the pride were, this, however was only for a few of minutes before they all made their way back to the bar.

As everyone was settling down with a much needed drink, Kobus observed another movement next to the swimming pool. A Leopard seized the opportunity created by the commotion to come down to the swimming pool to get a drink!

Shortly after accompanying the majority of the clients back to their rooms, Kobus and the guide could hear the male Lions approaching the area. Soon a huge male, accompanied by a female with two cubs were seen drinking around the swimming pool before making their way down to the kill. Finally at around midnight, it became quiet and the staff was able to close down the main area for the night and go to bed, hoping to get some much needed sleep with the noise of Lions and Elephants in the background. There was very little chance of Kobus getting any sleep, as he realized that he would have to deal with a dead elephant right in front of the lodge in the morning, not only attracting lions and other predators to camp, but also soon the smell of the dead elephant would spread through the area.

Early the next morning Kobus had to make a plan. With the assistance of Wildlife services they decided to drag the carcass a little bit up stream and towards the other side of the channel; however this was no easy task. They attached a chain to the one hind leg of the elephant and then to the Wildlife Services’ vehicle. They only managed to move the elephant approximately 30cm before getting completely stuck in the soft sand. There was only one way to solve the problem. They had to attach another vehicle to their vehicle and pull it out.

So with another vehicle attached to the Wildlife Vehicle they managed to pull the stuck vehicle out of the sand, however, even with two Land cruisers they could not move the elephant any further. They decided to get a tractor from their neighbours to try and move the elephant. Once again the whole story repeated itself, this time however the plan worked. The tractor was attached to the Elephant Carcass, Wildlife Services Land Cuiser was attached to the tractor and right in front was a vehicle from Savute Safari Lodge, attached to the Wildlife Services vehicle. After major discussions, coordinating as well as a few nervous moments the whole train started moving over to the other side of the channel. After repositioning a few times they managed to move the carcass approximately 150 meters away from the camp fence. They barely unhitched the chains when the big lioness came out of the bushes directly above them, reclaiming her prize. At around 21h00 that night when Kobus was trying to gather the exhilarating events of the day, he could still hear the lions as well as the elephants around the waterhole. Who knows what could be in store for the following night….?

These rare & amazing sightings have been viewed at: Savute Safari Lodge


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