We have seen two lionesses in particular who are great characters, we watched these girls last night, not quite fully adult, clearly lacking much real experience in getting dinner for themselves. They had most of the right moves, but lacked any strategy – they spent the evening chasing a bunch of savvy oryx around in circles while we did our best to keep up. After a few hours, they wore themselves out, and we left them in deep sleep at about midnight, we drove the hour-long, bitterly cold journey back to camp.
An open top car may seem an odd choice for filming lions, but it gives us greater flexibility with cameras and visibility – even though it is a problem in rain and cold. (There’s no danger from the lions, they just treat us like a part of the landscape, the only ones who ever chase us are cocky cubs out for a bit of fun – although we are constantly vigilant with infra red scopes and thermal cameras.
It is really really cold
Winter in the Kalahari is usually 25 degrees during the day and 2 degrees at night. After the warm weather that brought the rain, an 'Antarctic front’ has returned, and even the days aren’t hot anymore. Driving in an open topped vehicle, in this dry cold air increases the wind chill factor enormously. Without even a windscreen to protect us from cold, we are wearing 6 or 7 layers of clothing, gloves, balaclavas and blankets.
A warming fire and a large whisky soon compensate
Today is re-supply day – it must be Friday. Still no replacement battery charger for the one that exploded during the storms two weeks ago, but we should get fresh veggies, new car radio, whisky and most importantly, water. This is the Kalahari, and it is a desert.