Walking with lions and playing with cubs

Trip Start Sep 15, 2012
Trip End May 01, 2013

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Flag of Zimbabwe  ,
Monday, November 5, 2012

Up at 5.30am for the Lion Walk, we were given a briefing of the dangers and the 'Ten Commandments' to follow when taking your lion for a walk! Then we were issued with a stick each (as if that is going to make a difference if Leo wants to charge..!) and entered the game park where we were introduced to the lion 'cubs' we were taking for a walk...don't be mislead by the word 'cub' - these cats were big...and they were hungry!

We soon got into the swing of things, walking alongside the lions, watching them stalk game, stroking their backs (always approaching from behind!) and holding the tips of their tails as we walked! The well behaved cubs posed for photos with us but we were constantly reminded that if they were so inclined they could turn and we would be dinner - run, and you're dead...

In the bright morning sun we got some great pictures of the Simba's on a rock, kneeling behind them as they surveyed their kingdom and all the potential food sources out there on the plain! The cats do frequently bring down animals but they seemed a little lethargic in terms of going for the chase today!

We walked with them back to the camp gates and then set about the business of topping up the tan whilst Vikki relaxed under a tree. Well, that was until a group of four polo players turned up by the riverside and ruined our calm tranquility! Bizarre.

Later that afternoon we went to a special compound to see the new born cubs. We were thrilled to see the two cubs, each four months old and Paula was particularly impressed to find out the girl cubs name was 'Dala'!

They were soooooooooo gorgeous. We had been told that there would be no interaction and were slightly disappointed at this - but when we got there we were allowed to play with the cubs, stroke them, pose for cute photos and rub their bellies! Fantastic! Always mindful, though, that even as babies they have extremely sharp claws and teeth and are willing to use them if startled! We spent a good half an hour with the cubs and were sad to leave but pleased to have the incredible opportunity.

We decided to use up the remaining supplies we had for lunch - this consisted of curried noodles, with tins of curried vegetables and extra curry sauce. Perhaps too much curry. Vikki's nose wouldn't stop running but waste not want not!

We chilled out and then went for an afternoon lion walk which saw the lions more active, chasing Storks, a giraffe, zebra's and deer - but to no avail. We were able to walk with them as the sun slowly sank and it was a very pleasurable end to a lion filled day.

After the walk, Vikki set sail in a dug-out canoe to chase the beautiful orange sunset from the water (it was spectacular!) and Paula's cook group created the hottest Thai green curry known to man but everyone ate it so we are either getting less fussy or everyone was starving! (Thought you'd like to know Nutter...)

With our mouths nicely on fire we hit the sack hoping that there would be no replay of the galloping horses in the night....

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annewardell on

....please add 'baby lion cub called Dala' to the list of pets you are going to smuggle back home! Fantastic photos & sounds like a memorable day....with all your limbs intact at the end, I hope xxxxxxx

Tash on

Awesome lion fun girls!! Wow!! Sounds like you are still having a shit time..

My day... Got up at 5.30, left for work at 6am. Had five lessons, a lunch club, an after school club, a meeting and an inability to remain calm. Came home, ate a roast dinner, watched shit tv then went To bed at 10pm. This was all after a half term in morocco where we shared the plane with a screaming deportee for two hours who was convinced she was going to die followed by my number two scariest flight ever (number one, Toulouse with you Paula) when plane, just 30 feet from ground aborted landing and rapidly flew back up with no explanation for twenty minutes!!!! No visibility says pilot. Oh! Right!!! Couldnt see? Why try in the first place you idiot!!!

Safely back on land and had a tough week trekking and more getting up early. Teachers have it bloody hard you know!

That's my life. Beats yours.
T x

Sue on

I NEED a lion cub!

Chris on

Super pictures.

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