After leaving my guests at the Ol Kiombo airtstrip for their afternoon flight back to Nairobi, I headed out to the Topi Plains for a short late afternoon game drive. I wanted to spend some quality time with the Lions there. As I reached there I found one of the six dominant males and a couple of females. A giant storm was building up, with menacing dark clouds coming from the north and the east. Strangely I was alone, with no other cars around. I photographed these Lions from close range with the clouds behind.
Before the rain I decided to see if I could find the other males. I found the group of females with last year’s cubs. They were waking up from the afternoon siesta, probably also by the chilly wind before the storm. Soon after the rain started falling. The two Lionesses I found earlier joined this group and together they lay down in the grass to endure the storm. It was a very long and strong one. I kept on shooting through pouring rain, with my camera constantly getting soaked.
As the rain finally ceased at about 6pm, the Lions woke up and as it often happens, they exploded in amazing wild games. Chasing each other, jumping on one another, with huge water splashes. Two of them also decided to give a lone Buffalo a bit of a scare, chasing him around a few times.
As they disappeared in the riverine forest, I started making my way back as I understood that things could be quite difficult, after such a heavy rain. And I was right. All the small valleys around Rhino Ridge were completely full of water, they had become small lakes basically. I couldn’t cross them in the usual places so I drove up to the top of the ridge, and managed to cross most of the gulleys. Obviously the Olare Orok river was full and impossible to cross, but fortunately our camp has a footbridge. However, the road through the forest to get to the footbridge was basically one big swamp. I pushed as close as I could to the bridge but I got stuck about 200mts away. People from camp came with torchlights to get to me and I was able to sleep in the camp!0