Another entry from Laura McMurtry, and its on the tree climbers!!!
We had been in the Ishasha District of Queen Elizabeth National Park for two full days.
Matia had driven us tirelessly back and forth along the game loops for days in search of them. Of course as soon as something is infamous you might as well add to that near impossible to find!
We were looking for the areas fairly unusual tree climbing lions. Although I’ve witnessed this behaviour in other places the Ishasha district is very renouned for lions with a paticular liking for relaxing in fig trees – and so many of my customers had come back from Uganda almost casually stating they had seen trees full of lions. I should have known it would never be that easy for us!
We had gotten stuck in the mud twice, lost our spare tire off into the grass once and spent hours listening to Karen and TC, the managers of Ishasha Wilderness Camp, regailing us with amazing tree climbing lion stories – making us even hungrier to see them.
Each time I saw a hint of termite mound peeping from the long grass a squeek would leave my lips and the Matia and G would correct me.
It was only as we were leaving Ishasha that morning that our luck came through. On the main route from the camp to the road there was one huge fig tree. Surely it was too much to hope, but there they were. Two beautiful huge lionesses slumped languidly in its branches.
I was so excited I could hardly breathe. The ladies just looked down at us, majestically, or peered off nobley into the distance as we saw in awe underneath them. They had so much decorum, even if they could never look as graceful as a leopard in a tree. It was the best leaving gift we could have had.