A trio of trouble

As a species lion are under threat outside of major conservation areas. With only 10 areas in Africa containing populations of more than 500 lions , this iconic species is under the spotlight. Lions are under threat from many angles. The demand for lion bones for use in traditional medicine , accidental snaring , revenge killing of stock raiding lions and habitat destruction are just some of the problems faced by wild lions.

The Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park  straddles the international border with South Africa , Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Sabie Game Park makes up part of the larger Transfrontier conservation area and provides a sanctuary to these big cats.

Considering the above information it was a great privilege for myself to spend almost two hours with three of these amazing animals.  Lions , although popular with tourists are not the most exciting animals to watch. They sleep around 20 hours a day but to catch them out in the open was something special.

This small bachelor group consisted of three males, one of which is blind in one eye. Lions are notoriously hard to accurately age but after much deliberation in camp it was decided that the two older lions where between 4 and 5 years old with the one younger lion (The one with a blind eye) being 3-4 years of age.

The look in a lions eyes is guaranteed to be a lasting memory. A piercing stare with rich yellow eyes leaves a cold shiver running down the back even the most experienced guide. The knowledge that with one swipe from a massive paw the lion can take down almost any prey is a chilling reminder of just how powerful these seemingly lazy cats can be.

The trio where completely at ease and very relaxed in our presence. With no competition from other vehicles, sightings at Sabie Game Park are exclusive and cherished moments.

 

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