My First Lion in the Wild

A couple of weeks ago I had a conversation with a fellow blogger about a book she read, The Naked Traveler.  Novroz, from Polychrome Interest suggested that I share some of my travel stories.  I post photos from my travels, and when I first started my blog I intended to share stories, but somehow I got sidetracked.  Novroz reminded me of my original intention.  Here is a story that I posted when my blog was less than a month old and I didn’t have many followers.  I apologize to those who have read it already.  I am also developing other stories from my travels to share.

Here is the original posting:

I will never forget this moment.  As our guide was speeding through the Chobe National Park in Botswana to get to the exit before the 6:30pm closing we heard this loud roar.  Now when I say loud I mean LOUD!  Our guide immediately killed the engine on the jeep and listened.  We were sitting right next to this bush.  He started the jeep and pulled around the bush and then killed the engine.  He listened intently.  Again, he started the jeep and worked around the bush and repeated the steps.  Silenced the engine.  Listened intently.  While he listened, my heart rate started to increase.  I knew there was a lion close by and I started to wonder how safe I was if it decided to jump into our vehicle.  I looked around the jeep and many people looked nervous.  This time when he started the jeep he did so with gusto.  As we pulled around the corner our guide knew before we saw that the lion was there.  Instantly he jumped up from his seat to lower the windshield to reveal this massive male lion lying in front of us in a sphinx pose.  The lion didn’t pay any attention to us.  There he sat while everyone snapped a gajillion photos of him quickly.  We still had to rush to get out the gates by 6:30pm.  None of us wanted to spend the night out in the open with the king of the jungle.

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American living in England. When she isn’t writing, she’s traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs, or reading. Not necessarily in that order.
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40 Responses to My First Lion in the Wild

  1. What a fantastic and unforgettable experience! I would love to see a lion in the wild. And well done for being able to get a picture of it too… I think my hands would shake too much!

    I really like this idea of adding a small story when you put a picture up. Keep it up!

    • TBM says:

      Thanks! I hope to share one travel story per week, since they take a lot more time to prepare. Trust me, my heart was racing, but I was also in awe of seeing this lovely creature. It was amazing. When I close my eyes now, I can replay the entire event in my head and I can still hear that roar!

  2. xandimusic says:

    very nice shot TBM 😀

  3. Wow, what an experience! Cool shot too, it’s looks likes the lion was stubborn and didn’t want to turn his face to the camera on purpose 🙂 How big is the chance you spot a lion in such a park?

    • TBM says:

      He didn’t care one bit about us. I wish I was that confident in life 🙂 There was a couple who spent two days in the park and never saw any of the cats. They left the day we saw this one. The next day we saw two female lions. It is all about the timing really. Many of the guides will stop and talk to each other when driving by. Sometimes you get a useful tip, but more than likely the animal has moved on. I think it comes down to the skill of your tracker and luck. Dan, our guide, was amazing!

  4. Awesome story and photo! Would you consider that one of the most exciting moments of your life? I know I would! 🙂

    • TBM says:

      Most of my time in Africa were the most exciting moments in my life. I can’t explain how magical it was. I feel like a part of me is still there and I want to go back and explore it even more!

  5. niasunset says:

    … 🙂 He doesn’t talk with you… This was amazing. Thank you dear TBM, have a nice week, with my love, nia

  6. frizztext says:

    you have courage!
    I only shot a lion couple (married) in a Zoo:
    two of us
    they seemed to be very friendly …

  7. Caroline says:

    Oooh scary… I wouldn’t have felt good at all. I only have some unfortunate monkey encounters to share. One was a bit scary but looking back very funny.

    • TBM says:

      I’m glad everything turned out okay. When we visited the Cape of Good Hope we were warned that the baboons could get mean. One of them chased a tourist there and another climbed into someone’s car. I hope nothing happened to you but just a brief scare.

      • Caroline says:

        We had to run quite a bit. All through a forest i Sri Lanka. It was a huge male with big teeth… Our tour guide just abandoned us and ran away first after having told us that there was never any problem with those monkeys.

      • TBM says:

        Wow that does sound terrifying! And I can’t believe your tour guide–that is upsetting that he would just leave you. So glad it all worked out in the end and now you can find the humor, but I wouldn’t be laughing during the event. Scary–I’m trying to imagine the big white teeth.

  8. Novroz says:

    first of all, thank you for mentioning me.
    Interesting story and very tense. Glad the lion didn’t do anything crazy.
    You should do this more often 😉

  9. Oh, I love this story. What a great experience!

  10. Fergiemoto says:

    WOW! How cool is that!!

  11. Thirdeyemom says:

    We went on a night safari in South Africa and followed two male lions in the dark. It was a wild experience. I would love to go and explore more of Africa and hope to do so someday.

    • TBM says:

      A night safari is fun! We didn’t do any safaris in South Africa and I regret that. But you can only do so much. Following two male lions sounds terrifying and exhilarating!

  12. wolke205 says:

    Beautiful exemplar of a lion 😀 Must have been a great experience to see one so close! 😀

  13. lynnsbooks says:

    That’s a great story and picture. I couldn’t help having a giggle at the lion because of the way he looks so determined not to look at you taking his picture.
    Lynn
    😀

  14. IsobelandCat says:

    Dramatic! More stories please.

  15. Gilly Gee says:

    Brilliant photo! I remember a similar 6.30 rush to get to the gates at Chobe, I’m sure they do it on purpose to give us the adrenaline rush!

    • TBM says:

      It worked! I did feel bad that the workers at the gate had to stay a little later to close up shop. We were the last ones to check out that night. I wonder what they do when a jeep doesn’t return at night–do they have to search the entire park?

  16. zannyro says:

    Great post! What an experience!

  17. intrepidtraveller says:

    What a fantastic experience…love the photo, the lighting makes it quite spooky!

  18. Kristina says:

    What an experience! Great! 🙂 I am glad you had an opportunity to snap this beautiful shot!

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