There's a Lion!

One of the things I love about photography is the moment. Capturing a moment. Re-living that moment through the image. The most rewarding photos are not only beautiful but have a story to tell. 

The Kalahari is one of those almost mythical places in Africa that I have been trying to get to all my life. The opportunity arose when some great friends of mine decided Botswana was next on their list. This safari was quite dramatic before we even got to Botswana, but this particular moment for me was when I knew we had arrived and our safari had begun. A wonderful culmination of years of work and special people brought together by a love of safari.

Leaving the hide to look for a memory card that had fallen out of my pocket in the vehicle, I remember joking with our guide about how quiet the water hole was. Oblivious to who was probably watching me from the bushes, I wandered back to my cup of rooibos tea. Fiddling with camera settings I was getting frustrated about how I was going to photograph a superb purple grenadier landing in front of me. All was quiet. “There’s a lion!”

Now, the particular gentleman in question does have something of a reputation. So there was some initial scepticism on my part. But then it really did get quiet, and what followed was one of those sublime moments of suspense as your eyes catch up with the scene unfolding. She walked in from the left, magnificently, and sat down to drink. Myself and said gentlemen exchanged a glance of fulfilment. 

The lioness got up, shoulder muscles rippling, pacing the edge of the water. Being at the water level, looking up at this, is a whole different experience. Breathtaking and exhilarating. She sat down again, looked from side to side and drank some more. I could hear the slap of her tongue on the water. She looked up and I fired the shutter. As anyone who has been on safari will tell you, there’s nothing quite like being eyeballed by a lion. 


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