The Lion at Our Window

Yesterday marked one year since we arrived in South Africa, and we have not had a single visitor. I do understand the travel distance and flight cost. It’s an epic vacation, for sure, even once-in-a-lifetime.

We still ask ourselves how we ended up living here, and having these insane adventures, like this latest Kruger trip and an incredible lion sighting…

We had been sitting in the car for an hour or so just enjoying the non-predator activity at a dam. That morning we talked about how we have never had a “spot” on lions by ourselves; in other words, we have only seen wild lion when a group of cars were already stopped looking at lion. We talked about how amazing it would be if we were the first to spot lions sometime, or how incredibly lucky those people were who got those photos of lions in the road, walking around their cars.

Then, both happened.

travel Africa lions
[It was a surprise to look away from the dam and realize these lions were coming toward us!]
Kurt spotted them first: a lioness, followed by a young lion coming up the creek bed behind her. I looked around and realized we were the only car looking at the lions. There were a couple other cars in the area but they were looking at elephants and hippos in the dam.

Africa travel lions
[In total the pride ended up being about 8-10 lions, but we only saw about 5 at one time. Many walked in the grass alongside the road.]
We got the spot!

Then we realized they were coming our way!

Soon they were up on the road and cars quickly began piling up as people passing through began stopping and trying to angle for photos.

travel Africa lions
[You will never convince me lions aren’t able to distinguish people in a vehicle from the vehicle itself. They make eye contact. They look in each window as they pass.]
lions Africa travel
[Is she spotting me?]
We stayed exactly where we were, even though it meant people frequently blocking our shot. We were rewarded when the lioness came toward us and began walking around our car.

lioness travel Africa
[Small car. Big lioness.]
lioness Africa travel
[She stood behind our car for a long time watching the dam.]
If you’re on the fence about visiting South Africa, I hope this has helped push you in the right direction. You never know what encounters you’ll have here, but just one lucky break like this makes you know it was worth it.

travel lions Africa
[We kept our windows rolled up as this lioness walked by. We saw many stupid tourists actually hanging out their windows with cameras as the lions walked around. I kept expecting a Darwinian-style NatGeo moment]
And if lions aren’t your thing, consider this beautiful new tourism video below:

Happy Thursday, readers. Come visit South Africa.

Love, Marla

lions travel Africa
[The lion stalking the tourists stalking the lions.]

More Traveling Marla posts from Kruger National Park:

Night Leopard: A Video

Miniature Giraffe!

Puff Adder!

Parasitic Fly Problem? Dress Like a Zebra!

Southern Ground Hornbill in The Kruger

Hyenas in The Kruger

Rhino Crossing

Skink Eater!

Rock Monitor

Quit Sitting on My Head!

African Fish Eagles

Bushbuck in The Kruger

Butt-Sniffing Giraffe

Klipspringers Are the Cutest Things Since…Uh…Bambi?

Our First Hornbill

Camping in Kruger National Park

My Best Spot in Kruger: Verreaux’s (Giant) Eagle Owl

What Does Giraffe Say?

The Marla and The Kurt Went to The Kruger and Saw 0 Cheetahs

Attack of the Terrapins

For a Memorable Kruger Experience, Vacation Like a Twelve-Year-Old

Lion-Panther Cub and Lower Sabie Magic! Baby Big Five, Part Five

Four Nipples, Five Cubs? Tired Lioness: Baby Big Five, Part Four

The Battle at Kruger we Didn’t See (Baby Big Five, Part Three)

Gym Confrontation (and a Baby Elephant): Baby Big Five, Part Two

You Big Baby! (Five): Part One

Kruger…for the Scenery

Something Happened on the Way to Kruger

Win a Rhino!

Black Death? Big Five Part 4: Cape Buffalo

Spot the Leopard: Big Five Part 3

A Lot of Bull Sh*t: Big Five Part 2

This is Not a Tibetan Mastiff: Big Five Part 1


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