Eternity in their gaze

Eternity in their gaze

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The Lion Park was a very special experience. Although there are other animals, it is all about the lions – and what magnificent beasts they are. As we looked at them, from so close, they appeared both majestic and awesomely attractive. And they seemed to have eternity in their gaze.

We were taken into a spacious enclosure to meet and stroke the younger cubs. Although only a couple of months old they were still large enough to command respect, and produce some nervousness. We were told to stroke them firmly on their backs, and to keep our hands away from their heads and mouths. Even at that age those mouths looked as if they could manage a hand or a wrist quite easily! We soon became more confident, whilst the cubs just took it in their stride.

Next to them, and separated by only a diamond mesh fence, were a dozen older cubs. They were between 7 and 12 months old and already big and impressive. One came over to investigate, and gave every indication of being more than friendly. He seemed to be assessing everyone as he padded up and down next to us. One of the smaller cubs on our side, behind the safety of the fence, flattened himself on the ground and stalked him!

Beyond the Cub World, the park opened up and, further out, we could see antelope. However, we were pointed towards a small hut, the size of a large wendy-house. As we drew near there was a loud knocking from inside, and signs of movement, and out to greet us came a baby giraffe. Baby is, perhaps, the wrong word. Even at 3 weeks old he was taller than I am. He stood and looked at us impassively, and then began to nibble the corner of the roof.

After stopping at the restaurant for a rest and snack, allowing the children to enjoy the jungle-gym, and me to investigate the curio shop – all of which were very attractive – we went off to see the camps.

We drove through the four of them and enjoyed close encounters with lions, lionesses – both white and tawny – and some more cubs. This included a slight confrontation with a large male who looked as if he was trying to get out in search of his lunch. Eventually he gave way and prowled regally off along the fence instead. A white lioness excited the occupants of a passing car as she took a fancy to their rear number plate, and tried to take it off! The boys loved it!

It was time out in another world. Do yourself a favour and go and see it. It could create some special memories for you and for others. It did for us. Oh – and take a camera!

Rates (Self-Drive Entrance Fee):

Adults: R100.00 per person
Children age 4 – 12: R70.00 per person
Children under 4 years: no charge

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