Well here is the concrete proof that I got as up close and personal with an actual lion as possible! I am truly thankful to the guides who accompanied us on the bush walk with the lions. At the start of our walk they happily took possession of our cameras and clicked away throughout the walk capturing photos that are truly once in a life time. And in my case, proof that I lived out my dream which I needed to show to Lawrence, Mr. Dingwa and Buche to actually prove that I did what I said I was going to do!

We headed out on the Lion Bush Walk at about 4:30 pm and after walking into the game park a little distance were joined by our two lion companions, one year old brother and sister.

Our walking mates
Our walking mates

Lions are legendary nocturnal creatures who spend the better part of the day sleeping and resting up for their night hunting activities. Like most inhabitants of Africa they seem to mind the heat and spend the daylight hours in lazy mode. This tendency to nap was extremely obvious with this pair. As the sun was still shining hot and brightly it took a while for my new friends to manage to much else rather than take rest breaks.

Once they joined us, the guides gave us ample opportunity to meet and greet while they took photos for us. I have to warn you at this point that I am lucky enough to have a significant number of photos which I am going to include here. This was a dream come true for me and these pictures are priceless so I am eager and proud to show them off. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Our initial meet and greet:

Walking out sure was tiresome
Walking out sure was tiresome
Do I have a pretty belly?
Do I have a pretty belly?

We were told that lions do this when it is hot to regulate their body temperature but I think that this guy just wanted to capture my heart.

very pretty belly

Guess who couldn’t resist a rub???? with the guides permission although it was obvious that no one had ever asked to do this before, I wonder why not?

Tummy Rub
Tummy Rub
Tummy Rub

Who gets to rub the tummy of a year old lion????????? ME

Do you see the size of his paw?
Do you see the size of his paw?
Making friends
Making friends
I told they liked to nap
I told they liked to nap
I told they liked to nap
Queen of the lions
Queen of the lions
Party is over unless I am staying to become the new lion play toy
Party is over unless I am staying to become the new lion play toy – I opted for the quick departure

IMG_1151

We didn’t make it very far when it was time for another rest!

Rest time again!
Rest time again!
My new sweetie
My new sweetie
Waling is sooo exhausting
Walking is sooo exhausting

happy

Falling in mutual love
Falling in mutual love
Honey, do you want a massage?
Honey, do you want a massage?
Or a scratch?
Or a scratch?
Earning my stripes as a lion tamer
Earning my stripes as a lion tamer
Okay, do you think that we might actually do some walking and hunting?
Okay, do you think that we might actually do some walking and hunting?
Finally on the move
Finally on the move

Until it is nap time again!

The perfect spot to nap
The perfect spot to nap
Honey, would you please come rub my tummy again
Honey, would you please come rub my tummy again

Fortunately the sun was quickly going down so natural instincts started to kick in and we were off and running, well sort of :

Time to hunt
Time to hunt
My experience as an expert herder came in useful
My experience as an expert herder came in useful
A break for a bum scratch x 2
A break for a bum scratch x 2

Two love

He loves me

IMG_1202

incredibly happy

loving it

changing directions

Leading the way home
Leading the way home

As darkness fell my two friends natural instincts certainly became apparent and it was soon time for us to part company before I became supper.

All I can say is that as you can tell by the pictures that I had a once in a life time opportunity and I don’t know anyone else who got to spend such quality time with these amazing creatures. Who knows since I have been invited back to Lawrence’s parents I just may get an chance to go exploring the bush with my new sweetie when he is even bigger and more mature…now that could be fun as well as dangerous.

2 thoughts on “Cheryl’s Lion Adventure Dream Come True!

  1. Oh, you lucky, lucky girl! I’m so envious. Once we were camping up at Mabuasehube and a whole family of lions came off the salt pan next to our camp site and walked through our site 7 metres away from where we sat around the fire. But that’s the closest I’ve ever been to lions, certainly never got to pet any! You should go to Mokolodi – they have 2 tame cheetahs there, and you can pay to go into their enclosure and pet them.

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