We returned to our campsite and rested up for our evening drive. Just as the sun grazed the horizon, we again hopped into our safari vehicles. We sped through a blazing sunset background to pull up to a small grass stand, where there lay two more lions! This time we were seeing males, but only their stomachs: they were on their backs, their bellies extended almost to the point of bursting, in a true food coma! Moving forward a few hundred meters, we came upon a felled cape buffalo. The lions had killed it and had their full, and now vultures were out in full flock. We watched them do their funny hip-hop toward the carcass and then peck away. Our guide said we would come back after the sun had set to see if we could find any more happy scavengers. Sure enough, an hour later, under dark's cover, we watched a hyena tentatively scampering about, trying to decide if the lions had really left or not.
For anyone out there who has not seen a hyena, they are the the most ridiculous hodgepodge of features--short body, long neck, and spotted fur that is scraggly and scruffy in all the wrong places. We waited with bated breath to see whether the hyena would make it out for her meal or not. In the end, she decided the lions were not coming back and went for it. After watching for a bit, we headed out of the park, feeling incredibly fortunate for all we had seen. Later, we found out that the cape buffalo carcass was completely gone by the next evening. Our guide also told us that we were incredibly lucky--often just seeing a lion or a leopard is cause for excitement, let alone seeing multiple of each in one day.
With our Zambian safari drives behind us, we can't wait to see what wildlife lays ahead in Mozambique and South Africa!
*This blog post was written when the group was still in Zambia. It corresponds with the pictures of the group in the open air jeep.