The lion and the baboon

Grumeti | May 2019

One fine morning, I was watching the very hungry Mkuyu Pride lying beneath a balanites tree in wait for the wildebeest. There was a troop of baboons not too far away from the pride and as they neared the lions a single lioness jumped into hunting mode. She began stalking the baboons… However, the baboons, sharp as ever, spotted the lioness and they bolted for cover. A single male baboon broke away and scrambled up into a rain tree just in the nick of time.

The lioness was not finished yet and began to climb the tree in pursuit of the baboon. By this time the rest of the pride members had come to the base of the tree as the tension grew. The baboon managed to climb high into the thin extremities of the branches, holding on for dear life with just one hand. The lioness climbed nearer. The baboon was screaming! We thought his day was done and he’d have to jump and fall straight into the jaws of the lions below.

All of a sudden two other male baboons came back screaming and taunting the lions, taking their attention away from the baboon still holding on in the rain tree. The lions shot off after the other baboons. This was his chance – dashing down the tree and bounding through the grass the baboon made it to a larger and safer tree. It

After the pride had been lured away from the rain tree they returned to the tree expecting their little meal to still be present. Of course it was nowhere to be seen. The disappointed lions slumped back into the grasses and continued their wait for the wildebeest once again.


Image by Peter Chatama