My daughter Adrienne and I recently visited the lion and rhino park near Krugersdorp, South Africa. The hot, dry air was still and silent. Spring rains had not yet come and the veld was bleached to a pale straw color. The dusty trees, of which there were few, looked tired. The lack of green vegetation made it easy to spot the animals.
We were able to drive right up to this pride. They were sound asleep and posed little threat to us in our little Toyota hatchback…we had no a/c so we had the windows rolled down and were able to get great pictures. These sleeping beauties were six feet away from us. We were silent, barely breathing, as we photographed these amazing animals.
I can understand why foreign tourists think its okay to get out of their cars in game parks. The animals appear harmless, especially when they are asleep. Too many Disney movies have depicted lions as benign, sweet animals. They are not. They are very large and very powerful. We were in awed silence at their majesty. We let them sleep and drove off as quietly as we could
The tawny or yellow lions were harder to spot. They looked decidedly more grumpy and got up and walked behind the tree as we stopped to photograph them:
The lions are all in separate camps, so that they pose no threat to the buck.
After our game drive we stopped at the Neck and Deck, an on-premise restaurant that features an upstairs open deck from where one can feed giraffes. It was a real treat being able to look them in the eye!