His eyes stung as sweat dripped from his brow. He wiped the sweat away with the back of his hand. His moves were slow, purposeful so as to reduce any chance of making a sound.
The zebra raised its head, chewing happily. Its ears flapped and then scanned forward and back. In the moment those ears were facing Matthew, he held his breath and froze his body.
He stared at those dark eyes, the two of them motionless for what seemed an age.
The head remained still, but the ears flicked around. After several seconds, the zebra dropped its head and continued to feed.
To his right, Matthew saw a lioness creep beside him, her brown eyes locked on the prey. He could see by her frame and the lighter colour of her coat that it was Lolo.
She turned her head towards him to make eye contact with Matthew. He knew what it meant: follow me.
The two of them crept slowly through the brush. An awareness of other members of the pride moving in on the zebra registered in the back of his mind.
When they were within less than fifteen feet of the zebra, the female thrust her head up, suddenly alert. Her nostrils flared and she sounded the alarm with a squeal.
Lolo burst forward and Matthew jumped to his feet. The spear in his hand felt heavy at first, but with a shot of adrenaline his mind focussed on only the galloping zebra.
He took a step and threw the spear with a titanic amount of strength. He watched, in almost slow motion, as the spear arced through the air and then pierced the side of the zebra.
In seconds, the prey was reduced to lumbering, and then the rest of the hunting pride was on her; clawing and biting, dragging the zebra to the ground.
Matthew's heart was pounding. He had done well.
He lay in the shade, his stomach full, his muscles aching from the struggles of the day. The sun was still powerful, filling the air with a dry heat that surrounded him.
Momo gave a low growl, not something that was aggressive, but was more like she was saying: "it's hot". She shuffled closer to Matthew and lay her heavy head on his chest. Warm air blew from her nostrils over his skin. It was a comforting sensation, like a constant reminder that he was not alone.
In the distance, he watched as a plume of dust was blown up into the air. Humans, he thought, in one of their jeeps. They were miles away, far enough away to raise no concern in him.
But still, he found himself wondering what they were up to.