Summertide Diary: Exploring Mountain Zebra (part two)

2 January 2021

When dawn found the Mountain Zebra National Park under heavy skies this morning we were already underway along the Kranskop Loop.

When we arrived at the start of Rooiplaat Loop we found a male lion lying there, flat on its right-side. We sat there as the minutes passed, studying it through cameras and binoculars and finally coming to the sad conclusion that this lion was dead – there wasn’t even a twitch of an ear or any movement of its stomach to indicate a breath being taken. Disheartened, I started the car to drive off.

King Roy, fast asleep

The sound of the Duster’s engine had a miraculous effect. The lion lifted his head, sleepily. He rested his head on his paws for a while, then gave a mighty yawn before getting up, stretching his legs and then lying down again to look at us in irritation. He is magnificent, known as Roy, and despite his advanced age one of the ruling coalition of lion males here at Mountain Zebra National Park, along with Nomad whom we saw at a distance the day before .

When the next vehicle arrived at the lion sighting we moved of so that those visitors too could have a private audience with The King. The skies have cleared and it’s turning into a glorious day. On our way back to camp we passed Roy again, and he was fast asleep again.

With it being our last afternoon at Mountain Zebra we opted to visit all our favourite spots along the Ubejane and Rooiplaat Loops and the Link road between them again. There’s just something so indescribably peaceful about driving around wild Africa as dusk approaches.

We posted a special feature about Mountain Zebra National Park following a previous visit, if you’d like to learn more about this special destination.

Map of Mountain Zebra National Park from the SANParks website (https://www.sanparks.org/images/parks/mountain_zebra/mznp-map.jpg)

10 thoughts on “Summertide Diary: Exploring Mountain Zebra (part two)

  1. Tranature - quiet moments in nature

    Beautiful images Dries and glad to see Roy is still with us. He looks like a sweet old king and I guess lions sleep a lot more when they’re his age.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Thanks, Xenia! Like very many other older men I don’t think Roy is sweet though – as one of the two pride males in the Park he still stamps his authority on his subjects and just a week before our visit other visitors saw him brutally take his pound of flesh from a female that dared trying to share.

      Liked by 1 person

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  2. sustainabilitea

    Of course the zebra are always good to see and the meerkat is quite cute. I’m partial to the springbok because that’s the name of the SA rugby team, although I must confess we tend to be All Blacks fans. Don’t hate me. 🙂 King Roy doesn’t sound very kingly to me, but he looks quite the potentate!

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Ah, I’ll forgive your All Black transgression Janet – but only because the Springboks are the reigning world champs and I can gloat about it!

      “Old King Roy” could be the opening line of a limerick, don’t you think?

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  3. H.J. for avian101

    The moral of the story: “Never try to check the pulse of a lion, especially in the morning…you could become his breakfast”
    Dit is net ‘n geestige opmerking, my vriend. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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