The Tree-Climbing Lions of Lake Manyara...
For three days, we had been going on both morning and evening safaris in Lake Manyara; we had seen lot of other interesting things, but of course, every tourist wishes to sight that unusual phenomenon, the tree-climbing lions of Lake Manyara.
Our guide, Huruma, told us that only 10% of visitors ever get to see these animals which have learnt to climb trees; so I thought that my usual Murphy’s record would hold good here, too. But since we had seen so many lions in the Serengeti, and actually been able to sight a leopard the very first evening, I did not entirely lose hope.
The second evening, we had sighted a leopard in the dusk, though not all of us were able to see it, but after three days, KM’s brothers and their families had to leave.
The next morning safari for the two of us was extremely productive in terms of all sorts of fascinating birds and mammals, and we decided that in the evening, we would go to the Hot Springs, which is 25 km away from the only entrance to the park:
(note…every signpost in the park seemed to have a buffalo skull set upon it!)
I am posting just one video here as a sample…do go look at the others….
We decided to leave them, most reluctantly, to carry on to the Hot Springs…if anyone had told me that I would have to leave the lions and go off, rather than the other way around, I would never have believed them!
When we came back from the Hot Spring, more than an hour later, they were still there, and several vans were pulled up, enjoying the view. The people in them just could not understand why we didn’t wait too long..they must have thought us the most blase wildlifers in the world, to go off after five minutes of looking at them! They didn’t know about our earlier tryst with the King and the Queen…