We decide to go north and explore around the Grumeti river. We find lots of zebra and gazelles. It seems a good area for these as lots are grazing around the lodge too.
Sure enough we come to the river crossing, which at the moment with no rain for several days now, looks very non threatening. Crocs are sunning themselves on the sunny , sandy banks. An incidental monitor lizard laying close by.
After lunch we decide to repeat the loop the boys had done yesterday as it seemed a good leopard area. As we pull by the rangers station he runs out and starts shouting at us. It is amazing the difference in reception apparently from yesterday. It takes Andrew and his diplomatic skills about 15min to settle the guy down before he lets us leave. What his problem is we don’t quite know but he wanted to fine Andrew for trespassing and being on a private road. The fact there was no sign indicating this was a private road and the fact he said nothing about that yesterday is a total puzzle.
We go back to the lodge and there is a large group that has pretty much filled the place tonight. We invite Andrew to our last dinner together.
He has been involved in gathering research on carnivores to give proof to the government how detrimental hunting lions is to the balance of the whole park. He in conjunction with the Carnivore Conservation group have shown how picking off the largest, strongest lions by the hunters affects the breeding cycles. Very quickly there is disarray in the prides as there is no dominant male, there is inbreeding with brothers mating with sisters causing a huge downgrading in the populations. Thanks to his research there has been a 5 year moratorium on hunting lions and now he has the follow up research of much health has come back into the prides. The five years is up and the hunters are back in August.
Andrew has setup a Facebook page on one of the dominant lions Ginger. He like Cecil can be the image of this needed conservation. If you would like to find out more about Ginger go to: https://www.facebook.com/Ginger-The-Golden-Lion-of-South-Luangwa-National-Park-897956983634105/
Tomorrow is departure day, we pack and are ready for the long way home.