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  • Writer's pictureJulian Brookstein

Adrenalin pumping encounter with a wild lioness on foot….

Updated: Jul 3, 2019

There is nothing that makes you feel alive quite like walking in the African bush in my opinion, and today was one of those days where I truly love my job.

I was out on a walking safari with four French guests in a stunning area full of ancient granite hills and I soon spotted vultures sitting in the trees. We changed direction to come in down wind and and approached. The feeling of knowing that you could be walking up to a predator or predators that are possible feeding whilst you are on foot is instant adrenalin - the blood starts pumping and my mouth still starts to get dry, no matter how many times I've experinced it. We climbed up a small outcrop of rocks to get a ‘bird's eye view, but we were unable to see anything, so carried on down the other side. This is when I saw the first lion track in the sand…. a fresh lion track. I gathered the group together and told them to stay close, as we were heading towards a thicket.

"Mouth dry, starting to sweat a bit now as the sun is baking hot, we proceed. Vultures are still in the trees, which can be an indicator that whatever predator has killed something is still around. Onwards we move slowly, taking a step or two, then stopping and listening…a few more steps…listen again. Then I hear it, just once so I'm not 100% sure of what I heard. Then it comes again and I am certain.

It is the sound of bone and flesh being broken and cut. I call my guests close in and tell them to listen. They hear it too, but are confused as to what the sound is. I explain and watch it dawn on their faces as they now put a picture to the sound. We creep forward slowly - one step at a time, but still nothing can be seen. I make the decision to pull back and go for higher ground on our left, as I am not happy about going into the thicket now that I am sure there is something in there.

We pull back and go to a small set of rocks and begin climbing gingerly. Then, from in front of us, guinea fowl suddenly fly up in alarm - none of us had seen these masters of camouflage. Everyone gets a fright and pulses are racing. With that we hear the bushes moving to our right, below us and a lioness breaks from the thicket and runs out of sight. She carries her kill with her and she vanishes, moving further into the thicket. I know that now she has seen us, she will be very alert and our chances of seeing her are again are very slim.Calling it a day, the tension is broken, but all of us are left feeling ALIVE! T.I.A. (This is Africa)"

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1 Comment

Oct 29, 2019

T.I.A. indeed. Looking forward to our visit.

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