The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is a vibrant semi-arid wilderness area with a great variety of wildlife. One of the main attractions are the big cats such as lion and leopard.
Finding leopard can be tough but lions are seen on a regular basis and the park hosts a strong and healthy population. Temperatures in the park can reach between forty three and forty seven degrees Celsius.
Big cats such as lion do not move at all during these hot times of the day. They will spend majority of the day resting or sleeping under the shade of a tree.
The only problem is that there are not always many big trees around in this semi desert wilderness. This means that the lions of the Kgalagadi have become very innovative over time in their ways of finding shade where no trees are nearby.
Just Wants to Rest in the Shade
We were out on safari one morning for over four hours when we decided to head back to our wilderness camp. The heat was becoming relentless and the temperature was already thirty eight degrees Celsius at ten o clock in the morning.
The camp had beautifully constructed rustic chalets made out of wood. Each chalet could sleep two people and each one had a veranda with a great view and most importantly great shade.
These type of wilderness camps are also un-fenced, so wildlife can come and go through these camps as they like. For this very reason you are always collected and dropped off by a safari vehicle as walking around is forbidden.
We quickly realized first-hand the purpose of the no walking around policy. We drove into the wilderness camp ready to go and relax and cool down at our chalet. Upon our return, our guide said he heard that it won’t be possible for us to go back to our chalet just yet.
I thought he was joking at first but then became confused by this rather disappointing news.
We asked him why? He said he would go and show us.
As we came around the corner of our chalet we got a big surprise. There he was, a big male lion, lying in the shade in front of our chalet. My wife and I were totally stunned by this unexpected visitor lying in front of our accommodation and we couldn’t say a word.
We realized that we had to go find ourselves some other shade for the time being and wait for the lion to move on. Luckily we could spend our time in the restaurant until we were eventually told after three hours that the lion moved on and we could go back.
Not every day that a lion beats you to your own house in search of a shady resting spot.