The day a lion came to lunch... By Andy Boura

We were visiting a Safari Park connected to the Kruger Park in South Africa. We had been on a few drives and decided to go on a game walk with a guide. A group of French tourists also accompanied us. We were walking along a dry and sandy river bed. Our guide, a nice young man in his mid-twenties, occasionally squatted to probe at dung or point out prints in the sand. He said he could see some big cat activity. We didn't take it terribly seriously as we'd heard that a lot on the 4x4. So when we went around a corner, and over a bank, we were a bit awestruck to have stumbled upon three large male lions and a buffalo kill just metres away!

They slipped into the tall undergrowth and disappeared in seconds...I was naturally a little concerned however our guide sounded confident as he instructed us to stay in a close group, walk upright, and proceed quickly with him towards open ground. However as he cocked his rifle I noticed he was as white as a sheet and shaking like a leaf!

As we walked he called for a 4x4 on his radio, meanwhile to my incredulity and his consternation the French tourists dawdled, wondered around, took pictures, and generally made as if they wanted to be eaten! Happily it wasn't such a gruesome ending as we made it safely to the vehicle. We then drove back in to observe the lions eat their lunch...thankfully buffalo…not us! Perhaps we weren't in so much danger after all, as they say “you don't have to be faster than the lion...”

in Kruger Park, Mpumalanga, South Africa


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