Behind the Safari – Hannes KrugerJanuary 18, 2017 | Sarah Fazendin
We recently had a chance to sit down and chat with our friend Hannes Kruger, the General Manager at Madikwe Hills in South Africa. We loved hearing about his favorite part of the job; watching how people get to relax and forget about their every-day, crazy busy lives.
Of course, a safari is different from any other holiday one can experience, and Hannes believes that this is an “opportunity for your batteries recharge in a way that no other holiday can recharge them!” He loves seeing the moment, usually around Day 3 on safari, when travelers remove their watches, forget about the stresses of home and simply relax and take in the nature all around.
And it turns out even safari guides are awed by the magnificent power of nature and wildlife. We loved hearing about one of Hannes’ most memorable safari experiences.
“This was a huge fight between 2 male lions. The two were part of the Mapogos, a coalition of six male lions in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve. Male lions in a coalition get along very well as long as there are no food or lionesses in oestrous around… when you add one of these into the picture every male lions wants the prize for himself and will definitely not share.
On this occasion, around 9h30 in the morning, there was a lioness in oestrous and the one male (the one with the darker mane in the pictures) had been mating with her since the previous afternoon. They were napping at the edge of a clearing in the shade of a tree and the other male was lying about 30m away. When the lioness got up, the male next to her immediately got up too in order to ensure that she couldn’t go in the direction of the other male. When the lighter maned male got up the darker maned one saw it as a challenge and immediately charged in to reprimand his brother.
What followed was the most exciting sighting that I have seen to date – a full on fight between two fully grown male lions. I really thought that they were going to kill each other – the pictures shows the story much better than I would ever be able to put into words. In the end, the lighter maned male won the fight and he got to mate with the female for the next 3 days. Both lions were gravely injured as one can see in the pictures – the darker maned lion’s front left paw was covered in blood and the lighter maned lion had deep bite marks on his front left paw as well as through his bottom right lip. He limped on 3 legs for about 3 months after the fight.”