I always say to my guests “Every safari is unique, you never know what you’re going to see next!”. These words are so very true… but today it was more significant than ever!
Many girls fantasise about their wedding day throughout their lives and spend many days, months and even years planning for it (and believe me, so did I!). I have always hoped and dreamt to see uncontrollably adorable lion cubs. I was well aware this event could not be planned and that nature would decide the perfect time and place for my dream to come true. Well needless to say, after four years in the bush, my day had arrived!
My guests and I had the most incredible couple of days together with fantastic sightings of a variety of animals. We enjoyed the magnificent views of the lush African bush together with memorable sunrises and sunsets. The only thing missing was a lion. On our last morning, we headed out on a mission in search of Africa’s largest cat. We felt happy regardless of what we were going to see but we also had a feeling today was going to be our lucky day…
The sun was just starting to peak through the clouds which rapidly started to burn away when we made our way onto an open area. The road turned and I had a glimpse of one lioness. My heart started beating faster and I started to lean forward towards my steering wheel. I knew there was a lioness in the area with six-week-old cubs. Could this be it? I drove closer, waiting for the road to lead me to the lioness. The grass was tall and I couldn’t see what was happening at first. All of a sudden… the grass started to move! I knew then I was going to see what I had been waiting for for so long!
I stopped the vehicle in the road. By now I was twitching with excitement. I heard the lioness make a low contact call to encourage the youngsters to follow her. The mother was answered by the cutest “yelp” from one of the cubs. The grass was still moving and started coming closer to the road. The mother walked extremely slow to make sure her cubs could keep up. A cub clumsily ran onto the road and I couldn’t believe my eyes. I had never in my life seen anything so cute! The rest followed, making more adorable sounds that would make any person’s heart melt in an instant!
Just as I thought it couldn’t get any better… the lioness walked up to the cub last in line and picked it up to carry it along. At this point, the gorgeous morning sun was behind us to highlight this amazing event. The lions were on the road so there was no obstruction to damper our view. I found myself with my hands over my open mouth. I had no words.
It all went by so quickly and before we knew it, the lions had disappeared into a thicket. Luckily this magical sighting will stay with us forever and I look forward to seeing these cubs become future kings and queens of the bush!