We recently saw an old female giraffe hanging around near Tinga Lodge.
She was very thin and limping on her left front leg. We weren’t sure if this was caused by an injury, or if it was just from old age.
The afternoon before she died, we found the tracks of the three Tsalala lions coming from the south, heading towards Tinga. The tracks crossed the river, and though we could not find them, we knew they were in the area.
The following morning, we picked up on their tracks only a few minutes outside of Tinga Lodge. One of the trackers started following them and then reported that he had located a giraffe carcass.
We went to investigate in our vehicles, and found the Tsalala males there. When we arrived, one was feeding while the other two rested nearby, and then shortly after all three stood up and were feeding together.
This was clearly the old female we had seen around the lodge. We aren’t sure if she died on her own or was taken down by the lions.
The size of the carcass also drew in quite a large crowd of other scavengers, including vultures and hyenas.
The lions guarded their carcass for a few days, then the other animals moved in once they had finished.
It was a real treat for us as guides to know exactly where to take guests from Tinga and Narina to see lions for those few days.
Words by Willie Pienaar
Photos by Charlotte Arthun