I wanted to share this beautiful lion I encountered at Hlane Game Reserve in Swaziland. Take a look at his expression – he’s cross! He took offence at the maintenance guys on the back of a truck and was stalking them. We, on the other hand, were in a safari vehicle with netted sides, so the lion didn’t see us as individuals. I could see this wasn’t usual behaviour, and I only found out afterwards that this lion had been to a couple of reserves and was a bit of a problem; too tame to be wild and too unpredictable to let tourists in on a game drive with an open safari vehicle.
If I’d been on the back of that bakkie I’d have been wetting myself!
There was a stalemate until Mr Lion started creeping towards them, then jogging, then running; his eyes fixed determinedly on the men on the back. At that point the truck went into reverse in a flurry of exhaust and dust! Our ranger got spooked and scarpered in the other direction – can’t figure out why! Saw the maintenance truck a few minutes later with all human cargo present – who’d want that job!?
After travelling all around the gentle country of Swaziland, completely landlocked by South Africa, I’m just finishing a couple of chapters for a new road tripping book, and thereafter will post my reviews of safari in Swaziland. It’s highly recommended and very affordable.
Send me your best lion pic and I’ll put it up on the blog.