Thursday, May 6, 2010

WC2010-African Safari-Lions

When one thinks of Africa, what animal comes to mind?

More likely than not, it is the lion.

Although Londolozi is famous for their leopards, they have lions. Of course they have lions.

This pride of 3 females and their growning cubs is known as the Tsalala Pride. Londolozi's blog says that the pride is easily identifiable because one of the lionesses lost her tail in an encounter with a hyena.

We rounded a turn in the road and saw some Land Rovers from another of the Londolozi camps ahead. Foster and Like knew what was up ahead, but kept it a secret until we could see.

The pride was at a muddy watering hole getting a drink.

I've purposely cropped these photos with a bit of the Rover still remaining so you could see how close we were. Yes, really that close. AMAZING.

We followed behind the moms and their large cubs-almost as big as they were- through the brush to a shady patch,

and watched as the moms cratered for a morning nap.

The cubs, of course, weren't at ALL sleepy and playfully pounced on each other, pawing and play-biting each other, playing the kind of games that all youngsters do.

I even watched a few of them climb up into the lower branches of a sturdy tree.

Never in a million years did I ever dream I would be this close to lions. It still makes me shake my head!

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