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Walk with Lions - One of our BEST days EVER!

Walk with lions - really? - yes you can. Not only that you can visit a cheetah, play with the younger cubs, and cuddle the babies! Here is our experience, photos and even a video of our experience.

Walk with Lions - having a break
Watching the Lions Enjoy a Treat by the Water

 

I thought I knew alot about lions. Did I ever learn so much more on this trip!

 

On our trip to South Africa, we visited our dear friends who live just outside of Johannesburg. Antoinette asked us what we wanted to do while we were visiting as it was over Christmas and we had to book early. The only thing I knew that I wanted to do for sure was to visit Soweto - the most historic Township. But other than that we were open to anything. We had a week of safari in Zambia and Botswana, so we weren't really fussed about seeing animals.

 

That was until she suggested the Not for Sissies tour - Walk with Lions. One look at the website and we were excited. Our drivers picked all 7 of us up from our friends house at 6:30 am (yes it is early but worth it I promise!). We drove in an incredibly comfortable van about an hour and a half and arrived just outside a little town called Brits. We were so tired from the festivities the night before, and thought we would sleep the whole way there, but nope...we were all too excited!

Walk with Lions Gate Sign

As we turned off the road, we arrived at what looked like a game reserve. The road got really bumpy and we could see a few impala jumping around. We pulled up to the front gate and heard a lion roar. I know sounds like a movie, but it's the truth. After a much needed bathroom break (in what I would call some of the nicest bathrooms I have ever seen) we were introduced to our guides for our lion walk.

 

We walked the 5 minutes to the enclosure where we could see the beautiful juvenile lions. They were all about 12 - 24 months old and apparently were the perfect age to walk with. They were still playful and mostly harmless. I say mostly, because after you do the walk, you will get a new appreciation for the power these incredible animals have.

 

As we waited for the 2 lions to come out and play, we were told the rules. There is no touching of the lions (that's OK I don't have a death wish), if the lions come to us, stay calm and let them brush up against you (this didn't happen to any of us). We were to stay behind our guides and the lions at all time. At certain points we would stop, our guides would draw a line in the sand, and we were told to stay behind it. This was so that we could get some good photos, and boy we did!

 

After a minute or two, we could hear and feel the ground shake, as the male 14 month old lion, Puncture, came running towards us. He was beautiful - oh wait I'm sorry - he was handsome! He was so excited to come out and play with us!

 

2 Lions - Puncture and Carly that we took the Walk with Lions Tour with
Meet Puncture - a 16 month old male lion and Carly a 22 month old female

 

Then came Carly, a beautiful 22 month old female. We spent the next hour or so, literally on a walk with lions! We walked, watched their handlers play and feed them, and watched them swim. We were also treated to what was apparently a rare event. While at the watering hole we saw a young ostrich. She seemed to have wandered over by herself. She wandered towards where we were, and as we were walking back with the lions, she crossed our path!

 

Our guide tried to scare her away, but to no avail, before we knew it, Carly instinctively knew she was to hunt this ostrich and took off after it. It all happened so fast we didn't know what had happened. The other handler went to go and try to find Carly. It took a few minutes, but they finally came back, Carly looking victorious and with feathers in her mouth, and the handler looking stressed out.

 

We found out later that she had successfully taken the ostrich down, but didn't kill it. Unfortunately she wouldn't make it, so they put it out of it's misery and gave it to Carly to finish as a treat for her victory. After all the next stage for this age of lion is to teach them to hunt and to survive in the wild, I guess Carly was an early learner. We gave her an A+ for her efforts!

 

Check out this video I put together of our hour out with these awesome lions:

 

 

Click here to see more awesome photos on our Walk with Lions Slideshow.

 

We were happy when we returned from our walk with lions, to find out that not only did we have that AWESOME experience, but walked by some younger lions, and found out that after a well deserved drink, we were going to see the babies!


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