Whenever we go camping, like most people I expect, we forget something. This time it was the mattresses and so at about 2.30am, not being able to sleep, we got up and went to the hide. At Punda Maria Rest Camp there is a hide at the fence, with a smallish waterhole, which is well-lit. And as we had seen an elephant early, we were hoping to see it again. So we sat down at a cold winters night and soon got aware of a crunching sound, which we figured, was the elephant, we’d seen earlier. Another hour had passed, when a young male lion came out of the bush at the opposite side of the water. About 30 meters from where we were sitting. He came to the water’s edge to drink his fill. A second lion appeared, also a young male, and in passing touched noses and he too then made his way to the water to drink.
After a while an elephant appeared out of nowhere, as they often do, and spend some time drinking, before heading off in the bush. Unfortunately he walked in the exact direction of the two lions, who jumped up growling and spitting, but making way pretty quickly for the elephant, who trumpeted off into the night. Not long after that a third lion appeared some 40 meters away and started roaring and received roars in return. It is certainly the most memorable sound and at fairly close quarters it felt as if the earth was shaking. Back and forth they went and after much nose touching and body rubbing made their way slowly into the bush. By now most of the camp was awake and converging on the hide, while we made our way back to the tent, feeling lucky that we’d left our mattresses behind.