Lions await in the cool of the grass just to catch a herbivore that shows signs of weakness or is hurt now.
The rains have again brought fertility to the savannah, attracting the herbivores that moved off in search of water during the months of drought. And with the arrival of the herbivores in Shaba, the powerful hunters also return, the lions.
Though the new vegetation has refreshed the atmosphere, the central hours of the day are still unbearably hot.
For the lions, this is the time to rest in the shade. It is too hot to even attempt the exhausting task of hunting down a herbivore, and even less if that herbivore is a powerful Cape buffalo.
The herbivores know that during the hours of midday they are unlikely to suffer an attack, and are happy to simply keep the felines under surveillance, upwind.
These young lionesses are also resting among the fresh green grass, though they never take their eyes off a group of zebras. If one of them shows signs of weakness or is wounded, the lionesses will not hesitate to attack, but the group is perfectly healthy, and the patterns of their bodies confuse the hunters, turning their silhouettes into a blur of moving stripes.
During the short rains, between december and february, there are frequent storms at nightfall.
The climate mellows and the heat of the day gives way to fresh, humid air; the temperature the large hunters have been waiting for to go into action.
The evenings and nights of Shaba are extraordinarily beautiful. But, ever loyal to its contrasts, they are also the time when death lurks in the dark.
For the lionesses, the night is an advantage. Lions have eyes that can see in the dark. Under cover of the shadows, a mother and her young from the previous year lie in wait for the herbivores, guided by the sounds coming from the thicket. Tonight, they are not in luck. From the forest alongside the river three elephants emerge, and no hunter in Shaba would dare disturb them, so the lionesses lower their guard and rest, waiting for other signs that reveal the presence of possible prey.