And this was it, my last day at Antelope Park. I don’t know where the time has gone, the three weeks have passed in a blink of an eye and at the same time I feel like I’ve been at Antelope Park for ages, everything has become so familiar and „normal“. I will miss the lions, especially the lion walks in the morning and the evening!
Actually – writing this post on Monday, back in Germany – I think I have never before cried when leaving a vacation spot and now I’ve already done so twice. Anyways, my last day at Antelope Park was wonderful!!
It started with an exciting lion walk. Well actually it wasn’t exciting – although it almost started with a kill, since the camp mongoose Moyo was a bit suicidal and followed us to the lion enclosure and the lionesses went wild when they saw him (lucky for Moyo they were still inside, and he outside). But the walk was „just“ nice (got a few more pics with the Ks) until we were on our way back to the enclosure, when the lions suddenly stumbled upon Walter the waterbuck and started chasing him. We ran after the lions, only to find them in a face-off with the game animal that is so much bigger than the two youngsters. The face-off went on for about 5 minutes until the buck realised, that he was way bigger and had horns, and chased the lionesses off – he got reeeeally close!
Dan had agreed that Darlene and I could skip the meat prep and going to town since we were about to leave on Sunday and needed to pack and fill out the feedback form. Originally we were supposed to see the feeding at 12 o’clock but there wasn’t enough meat to do the big feeding that’s usually booked by clients, plus there were no clients due to the park being closed for a few days, so we didn’t go up to BPG. But it was okay, since I got to see three feedings during my time at Antelope Park.
After lunch we got to cubsit the As one more time. I’m gonna miss the little buggers so much! And then, in the evening, I finally got to see the release pride. I had bugged Dan about it because I wanted to see them so eagerly and was really worried when it didn’t happen and wasn’t sure whether I would see them until saturday morning.
The cubs from the release pride, the Ngamo pride will be the first to be released into the wild and I had followed the news about them since their release (well, since their release was shown in the second season of Lion Country where I first learned about the Lion Rehabilitation and Release into the Wild programme).
So on Saturday evening Darlene and I accompanied the researcher into the release site. Milo and AT1 were the first we saw, pretty close to them 3 more lionesses, and then 5, including the young male, AS5, who is incredibly gorgeous! At the moment he has an almost blonde mane. The researcher said that it will get darker, but still, I’ve never seen a lion with such a light mane before.
We were only missing Nala, the lowest female, but the lions got up from their respective locations and then all nine females and the young male came together, only Milo stayed with the meat. So we actually saw the entire pride. It was a wonderful farewell present to see them, and all of them!
It was three incredible weeks and I want to go back there eventually. It’s pretty expensive, so probably not in the next two years, but I will be back!