All right everybody, we’re going to stop here for sun downers and a leg stretch. Please feel free to get off the vehicle to have some snacks and a drink or two…Then the inevitable question…What happens if the lions come? The response…Please don’t worry, if the lions, or any other animal happens this way I will take care of it, but there shouldn’t be any problem. They’re not that interested in us any way.
Explaining to guests that no, the lion will NOT jump in the vehicle, and please don’t worry, they probably won’t crash our sun downer stop…but please do not walk too far into the bush for a toilet break, is a common occurrence on game drive. Movies and internet blogs have given a misconception about the behavior of animals, especially lions, towards the unwary visitor. That’s not to say that incidents do not occur, of course they do, but 99.9% of the time nothing unsavory happens.
But, as Murphy is the ruler of the Bush with a very “interesting” sense of humor, and a fatalistic approach to any who say, “shouldn’t”, “couldn’t”, or the worst, “definitely will NOT,” you can expect to run into an interesting situation or two. So after getting out my drinks and snacks, reassuring two female guests that the lions aren’t around, and discussing interesting bush experiences, we carried on.
Ok everyone, we’re going to continue on with night drive now and head towards where the lions were seen this morning, (about a 20 – 30 minute drive from where we had stopped), and see if we can’t find a Civet, Genet, or Leopard on the way. Fifty meters down the road as my spotlight travels over a termite mound my brain screams, whoa that’s not right! Stop, pause, reverse, shine again. What? And there, lying flat out behind a small dead shrub, completely camouflaged and relaxed, is a rather large lioness, the one with the two small cubs. Great! Everyone if you look just over there behind that bush there’s a sleeping lion. Excitement and chattering as I off-road slowly over to where she laid so as to get a nice visual, and then silence as everyone thinks…Wait! We just had sun downers one minute from here….
See everybody, I told you the lions weren’t that interested in us…
Story by:Noelle DiLorenzo(Kapama River Lodge Ranger)