Friday, February 08, 2008

In the presence of the Lion King

As I had missed the two largest animals - the elephant and the lion on my safari, I decided to see the latter at the Sundown Ranch Lion Park. It was located just a short walk from the Sundown Ranch Hotel. I did not have high expectations, to be quite honest. Seeing an animal in its natural habitat is so much better than in cages or in enclosed areas. After visiting the park I am happy to say that it was an absolutely GREAT experience.

Among the roaring lions

As I passed through the gate of the park I walked along a passage with cages on both sides. Here there were lions either sleeping or walking slowly under the hot African sun.

There were several groups of lions with males and females in different enclosed areas. It was a good distance between the walkway, with at least two different set of fences keeping the public away from the inner fence. I would not guarantee what would happen if somebody put their arms through the fence.

O! They are really small kitten!!

As I came down to the centre I was followed by a charming guide, that followed me around. I did not know that I was in for the experience of a life time. She explained to me that the park was more than an ordinary lion park. It was a breeding station for lions that were to be released in the park. She took me to one of the cages and this is what I experienced. Fancy! In the cage were to small six week old cubs. I was allowed to touch and play around with them. They were like the small kitten I have played me through my life. Press the play button and enjoy what I saw.

Older, but still playful!

Having played around the cubs, the guide took me to another cage, and locked me in. On two large rocks there were three, considerably older, lions. She explained to me that they were six months old, and for another year man and lion could interact. As they reach the age of 18 months, the park prepared them for a life in freedom. I was a little skeptic to touch the animals, as they had paws larger than my hands. In fact, one of them did not like my hat, and this stopped my filming. Here is another clip on the larger animals.

Seeing and touching these animals was a wonderful experience. What about their parents then. Do you want to see the big cat. OK! Here is a film.

Visiting the Sundown Ranch Lion Park is a wonderful experience. If you missed the big cat on you safari or not, cuddling a real lion is the experience of a lifetime.

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