Yawning lion in Kruger National Park, Our life in Kruger

An amazing hour with lions in photos!

You might think that because we live in Kruger National Park, we get to see lions and leopards every day. Steven does more often than the boys and I do; he works in the bush after all. But for the boys and me it is a bit different. They still need naps and they love playing outside; Food needs to be made, washing needs to be done, bums need to be wiped. The same if we were to live outside the park.

 

So, we don’t spend each and every day in the car looking for animals. (Virtually impossible with the petrol prices these days even if we wanted to!) But, I still need my animal fix, so I take the boys on little outings in the park every other day or so. Sometimes just to go get an ice-cream in Berg en Dal, other times just because it is an overcast morning and I have a feeling the predators will be out. Like this morning!

 

Just after 7, we drove out our gate. (Which I now always close behind me to protect my veggies ha-ha!) There were a few cars parked on the Matjulu Bridge. All of a sudden, two male lions popped out from under the bridge! They were slowly making their way up the bank, so I decided to drive past all the cars and up the Matjulu loop dirt road to wait for them there.

 

I predicted where they would come out perfectly!! The first lion had a short tawny mane. He was looking extremely grumpy! Behind him, was a stunning full-grown male lion in his prime! He was absolutely gorgeous! Then a third lion popped out that I had not seen before. They went to lie down in the magic guarri bushes for all of us to see.

 

We spent the next hour with them. I had to bribe the boys with a lollipop or two. They are still a bit young to appreciate a whole hour of sitting in one spot, watching three lions.

 

One of the three lions we saw this morning
The grumpy lion was the first one to show himself
Two lions in Kruger
Coming to greet his buddy.
Two lions greeting each other in KNP
They greeted each other rubbing heads and cheeks.

It was really stunning to see how these two lions greeted each other. The lion with the fall mane looks to be older than the other two lions. Which is interesting to me. I was under the impression that male lions form coalitions with their brothers.

 

A coalition of male lions in Kruger NP
Hugs but no kisses for this lion;-)

A couple stopped next to my car, just as I was handing the boys another lollipop. They giggled when I told them that is what I do when they get a bit gatvol and I am not ready to leave just yet. They told me they were leaving the park to go back to Switzerland and that this was their best lion sighting during the time they had been here. The gentleman drove right on alongside me and gave me two little soft toys for the boys. “So they can play while you are taking photo’s”. How sweet was that!! The gentleman and his wife will probably never read this but: Thank you!!! That was such a sweet thing to do! Alex and Jack love their little doggies, thank you so much!

Male lions face rubbing in Kruger
Showing affection
Some impressive lion teeth there!
Showing off those magnificent teeth
Early morning lion yawn, Kruger, South Africa
Being a lion is exhausting…;-)

After a bit of snoozing, some ‘male bonding’ and lots of yawning and just ‘lion’ around, the three male lions eventually got up, marked their territory and moved into thicker bush. But what an amazing hour we spent with these three magnificent animals!! One to remember!

Male lion scent marking
Scent marking before moving off into the shade.

20 thoughts on “An amazing hour with lions in photos!

    1. Barbara, it was amazing to watch. I asked someone on one of my FB groups who he thinks these lions are. Apart from thinking it is a father/son coalition, he did not know much else.

  1. Another super write up of your life. So glad you abd the boys had such a super sighting.
    And to the Swiss couple, thank you for understanding and sharing. It’s precious.

    1. Hi Marietjie! It was a super morning indeed!
      I wish I could find a way to send the article to those wonderful people! Such a kind gesture!

  2. Thank you Linda for all your wonderful blogs. A Kruger Park fanatic and good friend of mine put me on to your posts recently and I have enjoyed reading every single one of them, especially the night you lost your phone on the Olifants River bridge ! You are doing something I always dreamed of, live and work in Kruger Park, but now at 80 that will never happen so I enjoy your blogs. May you and your family spend many more happy years in Kruger Park and keep up your writings. This particular blog has the most stunning photographs of the Lions, well done and may your little boys enjoy their toys – what a lovely gesture!

    1. Hi Mavis! I am so glad you found my blog and happy to hear you are enjoying my stories!
      Yesterdays lions were magnificent! I have asked an expert to have a look at my pictures of the big male. He might be a bit famous!;-)

  3. Fabulous pictures.. what a great sighting.. My husband and I are driving to Krueger tomorrow, staying in Loeer Sabie, the camp where we first met 32 years ago!
    Looking forward to your next blog and hopefully catch up with you in person soon!
    Barbara van Rensburg
    The ex BA hostie

  4. Wonderful pics Linda and such a treat to spend all that time with that lovely group. That adult male is the most beautiful specimen and looks to be in the prime of his life and the relationship with the young males comes out so clearly. I bet they could learn a lot from him!

    1. Hi Sal! That stunning male turns out to be the lion that was walking on the N4 a few months ago! He has formed a coalition with two other, younger males. So very exciting to learn this! He is looking so good!

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