Walking with the lions.
See the sticks that the rangers are holding? I had one too. It was the only self defense I had against two lions that were roaming free, a metre or so in front of me.
It was amazing.
This was a point and shoot shot. No close-up focus. I was so close that (if I was suicidal) I could have taken a quick step and slapped the lion’s rump. Fortunately I have too much to live for.
The closest lion was 2 years old, while the other one was a little bit younger.
They let the lions out at least once each day to come on this walk, up until 2 – 2.5 years of age, depending on their temperament. We were walking for 45 minutes.
They’d normally stay on the path ahead of us…
… though sometimes they’d range off into the scrub alongside. We were told not to let them fall back behind us, but to stop level with the rangers at all times. They were trained lions, in that they knew where to go on the walk, but they weren’t tame lions, if you know what I mean.
I had no idea that we were going to do this. I came to the lion park because someone told me they let us hold baby lion cubs. This was unbelievable.
After 10 minutes or so we stopped at this tree. I was taking photos with my ipad and the sun was shining directly on the screen, which meant that I couldn’t see anything through it, so I was just pointing and randomly shooting, hoping that I got some useable shots.
They said that they stop here to show people that lions can definitely climb trees.
And so they can.
After that we awent to a dam, where they threw pieces of chicken around so we could see the lions in the water. Well, the younger lion wasn’t keen, but the older one was leaping in with gay abandon. Unfortunately, I had my hand across much of the lens at this stage, so no useable photos from this. But I have irreplaceable memories…
Then, on the walk back we stopped for this sequence, where the guide was tossing more chicken pieces right in front of us.
And it wasn’t over yet. We still had to tour the big cages.
Thermomix Recipe: Apricot and Almond Crumble