Stories: Matthew Tells His Amazing Lion Kill Story ...

Lion Kill on H4-1 Skukuza to Lower Sabie Road

Matthew Harding, one of those growing numbers of people who just love the bush, submitted this story in August 2006 and what a sight this must have been. Many visitors come to the Kruger to witness scenes as Matthew describes because such episodes reflect Africa at its wildest yet for the inhabitants of this great Game Reserve this is part and parcel of normal daily life. I especially liked Matthew's description of the "informant".

8th September 2001- Lion Kill on the H4-1 (between the entrance and exit of the N’watimhiri Causeway)

This was to be one of “those” sightings that keeps you going back year after year!

My friend and I had spent 2 weeks in the park, just before writing our final varsity exams, travelling from North to South.

We spent our last night at Lower Sabie rest camp, under the stars and next to the fire, reliving every aspect of this trip and already planning our next one.

The next morning found us waiting at the camp gate, way before it opened, anxious to be “let loose” in the park before driving home.

Shortly before the gates opened, an official vehicle entered the camp to collect visitors for a day trip. The green coloured vehicle with the parks insignia on the sides parked nearby. The driver climbed out, hitched up his pants and sauntered over to our car. Once our window had been lowered, he offered the following advice:

“Drive to Skukuza, stick to the tar, stick to the speed limit, do not stop and 13km’s down the road you’ll find lions on a giraffe kill”

With that, he hitched up his pants again and moved off down the queue without waiting for a reply.

We followed his advice to the letter. With every kilometre travelled our excitement level rose, until, eventually, there they were. Please click thumbnail images to view larger photos.

LIons at Giraffe kill Kruger National Park There were lions everywhere! All of them almost black with blood and other gory bits. Some were so full that their bellies seemed about to burst as they lay about whining. Others were being sick, while others were still growling and straining at the carcass, their feet slipping and sliding in the muck on the floor.

Lions black with blood from Giraffe kill Kruger Park Can you imagine being witness to the actual takedown- the sheer power of the lions to bring down such a massive animal? Or, seeing and hearing the seething mass of snarling lions as they feasted.

Lions Kill Giraffe and Gorge Themselves KNP We watched the lions for almost an hour before we moved off - two very satisfied students.

Tony's comments ... I've heard it told that Lions have learned to hunt Giraffe close to the tar roads. The Giraffe so targeted runs at a gallop up and down the road and sooner or later slips and falls to the ground probably never to get up again.

Another interesting fact about Giraffes is that under stressful situations they suffer heart attacks quite easily because of the immense pressure placed upon the heart which needs to pump blood all the way up the long neck.

Matthew tells me he ... " I have been inside the rare antelope enclosure near Pretoriuskop, and although the photos of the animals are far away- you may use them. We also saw the “Roable” there- the story is on the SANPARKS forum, under animals. I have also seen Duke on a couple of occasions- the best of those photos are on the forum as well- under animals- tuskers.

Maybe Matthew will tell us the story about this too.

Thank you for sharing with the world, Matthew.

If you would like to share your Kruger tale with the world please see here.