On Safari in East Africa: Lions

We had a spectacular month exploring East Africa -- a real dream come true and centerpiece of our trip. It was awe-inspiring to see first hand in the wild what we had only seen in zoos. Handpicking the best of the best of the thousands of photos we took, the On Safari in East Africa series showcases the animals we were privileged to see in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

Lions

The first time we saw a lion, a big male came out of the brush and walked onto the road. Our guide yelled “Lion, lion, lion!” and stopped the car. Nonchalantly, the lion crossed, then disappeared into the brush. Seeing this wild lion, the king of Africa, made me think of the incredible daily struggles of all things under the harsh African sun. Here we were, in the middle of it, and there were lions in the bushes. One morning we witnessed a pride devouring a wildebeest. The males were eating while the females and younger lions played nearby on a tree. We could see parts of the carcass lifted up as they ate before the rest of the pride joined in on the meal. 

Surrounded by the hills of the Masai Mara near sunset, we came upon a small pride of lions. A young male got up and laid right in the middle of the road. It was so crazy to look him dead in the eye from just a few feet away.

Early in the morning in the Serengeti, we saw this lion pride resting and snuggling together. Ever watchful, they all got up and started to move toward some antelope. Watching them all walking on the road toward us is a sight we will not soon forget.

It’s amazing how well lions can be camouflaged. We barely saw this huge male lion napping in the grass of Ngorongoro Crater. Our guide told us that the only way to spot lions is by the dark spots in their tails and ears.

FACT

Masai Mara (in Kenya) is home to one of the highest concentrations of lions in the world. 
 

{ video: Lions hunting in East Africa }