My favourite image of 2020 just happened to be during my first and only safari for the year.
I was fortunate enough to get 4 weeks of safari in the Serengeti before the world changed and South Africa went into lockdown.
During the 4 weeks in the Serengeti we had a huge amount of rain, which made the game viewing a little bit harder than what it usually is.
My favorite sighting (I think it still would have been even if normal travels went ahead this year) was of a mating pair of Lions in Ndutu. We found the Lioness resting in a tree, as they usually do in Ndutu and only discovered the Male Lion below her quite a while later. She descended down the tree a couple of times as they were doing their duties, after which she then returned to the same tree.
In the distance a herd of Elephants started approaching, clearly picking up their scent as they paused with their heads raised and their trunks extended in the air. We knew the opportunity for some interesting interaction was there, so we settled in for the day, lunch packs next to us, waiting to see what is going to unfold in front of us.
The herd of Elephants very slowly approached closer to the Lions, feeding on the lush green vegetation that was present after all the rains. As the Lioness descended towards the male to carry on with their mating ritual, a few Elephants charged to their direction. With mostly open plains around Ndutu, the Lions frantically ran, looking for a suitable tree to get away from the Elephants. There was literally one big tree ahead in the distance which the Lioness decided to hide in, with the Male disappearing in dense thicket.
As the Elephants approached the tree in which the Lioness was hiding, you could see the panic in her eyes, desperately trying not to fall out.
The Elephants eventually lost interest, and as the sun was setting they decided to move on, most likely to the lake which was not too far away. It didn’t take long for the male to return and on a few occasions he even tried to climb up the same tree in which the Lioness was resting, but with little success.
Even with the lack of travel this year, I have very little doubt that this would still have been my favourite image of 2020.
Till next time