Thornybush Nature Reserve has a strong healthy population of lions. Our frequent sightings allow us to gain a greater understanding into their habits and abilities. As we know lions are renowned for sleeping a lot but all this snoozing can make the body quite stiff. Particularly on our evening drives, we get the chance to look inside the mouth of the King of the Jungle. Before getting up after a hard day of resting the lions will undergo their evening ritual of cleaning and stretching before the excitement of the night.
We patiently watch as these lions transform from lazy cats sleeping in the grass into a big strong proud and very intimidating pride of lions ready to stalk through the night. They start by licking their huge paws clean so their nails are ready to grab, stretching and extracting the claws. Then the yawning, the most intimidating part when they open their huge mouths and you are able to see the enormous canine teeth inside. Stretching their jaw ready to dig into tonight’s meal. Whilst all this preparation is taking place these lions are constantly watching you. They get up, stretch, give you one final glance and a contact call is made as they begin to move out and explore what the night has to offer, leaving you with a feeling of excitement and fear running through your body – it is something you will never forget.