I could hardly write posts on my holiday without including a shot of this statue, now could I? Isn’t it spectacular?
We had a full day of conferences after our safari day on Tuesday, so the next day I rose up bright and early for my free morning. Kate and a couple of people I was with chose to do horse riding, while I elected to take a tour of the lion park.
I thought they were mad to do horse riding – after all, you can do that anywhere – but she and Libby felt that they’d done the whole lion park thing in Thailand.
Boy, were they wrong!
Th lion park was a fair way away from the resort, so I had an hour or so to get to know the other ladies in the mini van. Apart from one woman with a grating voice who didn’t seem to draw breath, the other people were lovely. As we turned into the precincts of the park we began to see various animals strolling along by the side of the road. This ostrich wasn’t keen to hang around.
Imagine how excited we were to round a corner and come across this?
We hadn’t seen any giraffes in the evening safari we went on and now here was one right beside our van! We all started taking pictures and then another giraffe poked his head out from behind a shrub nearby. Suddenly Africa was seething with them! But this was only a brief hint of the animal-filled day that was ahead of me.
Our lion park experience was broken up into four tours lasting for 3 hours or so. The first one was cuddling the lion cubs.
The lion park takes the cubs away from the mothers after about 2 or 3 weeks of age, before the other lions get around to killing them. Apparently each cub has only a 15% chance of surviving in the wild and even in the lion park they are in danger if they hang oout with the larger lions.
These ones were from 3 – 6 months of age.
They asked us to sit down and then we were each handed a lion cub.
Meet Maddie. She was 3 months old.
We were taught to allow the cubs to bit or suckle our folded up fingers, not our extended fingers as we don’t know if there are germs under our fingernails. Before we went into the enclosure we wiped our hands with hand sanitiser to keep them healthy.
Her coat isn’t as soft as a domestic cat’s fur, but she was utterly gorgeous.
After we’d all had a cuddle of our individual lion, they popped them all on the picnic table and gathered us all around. Such a writhing mass of cute!!!
Still cute. Still cute…. as one reaches up to my head….
…. and starts biting my hair.
There were no professional photographers snapping heavily posed shots and then charging $20 a pop for them. It was all informal and personal. It was a magical experience.
Look at this face!
Imagine being this close to a lion cub?
But there was far more to come…
Thermomix Recipe: Strawberry Rollups