Lessons at Little Tubu
Little Tubu will always have a special place in my heart as I was lucky enough to watch it develop as it was built. It is a secret gem of the delta, and it is as exclusive as it gets, being only 3 tents with a beautiful dining area that overlooks a floodplain dotted with letchwe and elephant. A fire place situated on the sand next to a seasonal waterway gives one the chance to connect with your surroundings on ground level and at the same time offer a clear sky for star gazing.
Our afternoon started from the airstrip as we had flown in late. We headed north to meet up with another vehicle for sundowners, but our plans changed rather abruptly after being told on the radio that we should get to a lion sighting as fast as we could!
We arrived just as the lions seemed to be moving from some tree cover into a clearing. The 5 youngsters seemed quite excited and were stalking and tackling each other keeping us very entertained. Only after some time did we realize that at the edge of the clearing in some long grass were two adult lionesses that had just brought down a wildebeest!
The cubs seemed unsure as what to do, and would run at full pace and dive straight into the dying wildebeest, tumbling over it and then back to their feet chasing one another. It seemed as though the mothers were trying to teach the cubs a lesson in how to kill, but they had a tough audience that were more interested in stalking and tackling each other than in any sort of obedient concentration on the task at hand.
The following morning, we returned to the scene to see what had transpired that night. All 7 lions were feasting on the wildebeest and it was a great sighting in the golden morning light. The cub’s bellies looked as though they were going to pop and all seemed happy on the lion front.
The success of these youngsters surviving is dependent on the two lionesses’ success in killing as well as in teaching these cubs the valuable lessons that we were lucky enough to witness the previous day. If these youngsters are able to survive to this time next year, Tubu will have a new pride in the area, and hopefully in a few year’s time one will be able to witness these cubs teaching their cubs similar lessons.