African Lioness Stalking Wildlife Photographer


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African Lioness stalking Wildlife Photographer

This is not the first time an African lioness has stalked me; but it is the very first time one has come close, in a stalking mode with such a determined look – a look that went through my whole body. Wow! This is the story of the lioness stalking me from one of my solo trips.

After arriving at a waterhole, I was settling down for a few hours, accompanied by a pride of African lions dozing in the shade. The youngsters were well hidden by the high grass and were barely visible. The male lions of the pride were further back, again well hidden and seemed to be in a deep sleep. I was sure that I heard them snoring. Since an African lion can sleep 23 hours a day, I was just hoping that something would happen perhaps to bring the youngsters out to play. But the lions were settled, quiet; sometimes a tail went up for a moment but that was it. So I decided while they were resting I would have a snack.

On the other side of the waterhole a few Springboks came in to drink, always on alert. Yes, perhaps something was happening or close to it. If one made a fast move all jumped back and run a few meters in safety direction. Well, I would be too on alert, especially when I see a lion pride on the other side of the waterhole hanging around like a bunch of sleepers waiting for 'that' "wake up call"!

Anyway, after watching animals come to drink and go, in between a very tired lion pride doing just nothing, I needed to find some distraction. Had a snack already so I started to clean my lens of dust, Africa is a tad dusty in some areas! And while I did one camera I decided the second camera with lens should have a clean as well. I had just put down the lens blower when I saw some movement around the lion pride. A lioness was checking me out through the high grass. The head went up, down again. This was nothing new having animas look at me sometimes, but this lioness had a tad different look! Not the usual "being bored" look, let me sleep look. NO, this look was wide awake, a sharp focused look! There she was already within 1-2 seconds, standing up, her "viewfinder locked" on me tight. I am sure that at this moment my name was added to the dinner menu! Looking through the lens I could even "feel" this unwavering, resolute look, the lioness stalking me, my name on the dinner menu, African lion pride! Hello, really me? I actually do not taste good. I love chilli, I will be pretty spicy! No good for you!
No matter what, the lioness continued stalking through the high grass without even taking her penetrating eyes off me. The feeling was not anymore like any other animal looking at me, the feeling was, you better watch out and close the window when it is time to do so. Hope the window closes fast enough. When the window is closed I probably have 1-2 seconds to jump to the passengers seat, when the lioness jumps against the window. I am sure the window will break! From there, hmmm.... brainstorming... there are a few ways, of course.

Up to 2-3m to my jeep was this lioness stalking me. When she was about 5-6m close I closed the window, moved my camera aside just in case I needed to move to a "better place"! Through the high grass it was quite a bit tricky to get the lioness stalking with her penetrating eyes and not too much grass in front of her face. The closer she came the more grass was in her face. When she was too close I watched her to see if she was serious with the African lion pride dinner menu! When she was at my jeep she had a very close look at me. After 1-2min I saw my name disappearing from the African dinner menu, the lioness went back between the grasses to her pride, let herself fall down on the ground and hit the dreamy land again.
Anette Mossbacher
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