Kalahari, Day Two – Deception Pan and Lion in the Camp

At night we heard lions calling loudly. I tried recording the lion roar using our iPhone, but both Voice Memo recordings were silent.

To start our morning game drive we drove nearby, but our guide only spotted fresh lion tracks on the road. In the morning, cheetahs lay in wait for a springbok to wander close enough to give chase, but the springboks kept their distance. As it warmed up, the cheetahs gave up and walked to shade.

springbok looking at cheetahs
springbok looking at cheetahs

Jackals usually keep their distance, but this black-backed jackals paused briefly to pose for us.

black-backed jackal
black-backed jackal

Yet another pretty bird. Birds with such long tails need to be careful where they land, so that their tail doesn’t get caught in the thorns or leaves.

shaft-tailed whydah
shaft-tailed whydah

The steenbok is a small antelope.


In the afternoon we saw Deception Pan. It looks like a lake with water, but it’s actually dry. The vegetation helps sell the notion of a lake: a band of red vegetation near us, a band of green vegetation, and the dark patch that looks like water.

Deception Pan
Deception Pan

Below, a closer view looks less like a lake.

lanner falcon and gemsboks at Deception Pan
lanner falcon and gemsboks at Deception Pan

We watched a giraffe bend over carefully to graze on grass. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGe_4MkAkKs

At dusk, after we returned to camp and were cleaning up, we heard “Lion in the camp! Stay in your tents!”. I looked outside but didn’t see a lion.

Stanley, one of our guides, was cleaning his vehicle when he saw a lion walking next to the land cruiser. The lion had walked past the dining tent next to the vehicle, and one of our safari members was having a smoke in the dining tent.

lion walked past Stanley on this road
lion walked past our guide here

“Get in the truck!” said Stanley, and Elise climbed into the truck. Stanley yelled out the warning for the rest of the camp. As you can see, the road isn’t very wide. Our tents are within 50 m of the truck and dining tent. Eating dinner in the dining tent that night was more exciting. We still hadn’t see the black-maned lions of the Kalahari, and we would leave the Kalahari in the morning.


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I enjoy travel, art, food, photography, nature, California native plants, history, and yoga. I am a retired software engineer. The gravatar is a Nuttall's woodpecker that visited our backyard.

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