21st Century “Hunting” For Lions

The second day in Mikumi, it seemed as if we were only there for one thing…lions. On the first day, we checked off all of the animals we had seen on some imaginary “safari bingo card” and realized that out of the major big game animals, the big, bold and brash lion was missing.

My ignorant mind thought that it was because they were hiding, but silly me, little did I know we were just unlucky. The coolest thing I found out about lions is that they are called the “king of the jungle” because they really are truly the “king of the jungle.” In other words, they are afraid of no one, not no how. They are often spotted walking right down the road at you or remaining seated right next to the car as you drive up. They don’t really budge for anyone and do just as they wish.

So as I said, it was just unlucky to have not seen a lion. While out on safari the second day, we went searching for them and found them with the help of some 21st century technology. Our driver used his cell phone to call other drivers and received calls from other drivers about the location of the lions. What resulted were a few 12 point turns in huge yellow buses bombing down the bumpy dirt road to find these beasts. When they had been located, it turned out that we had quite literally driven over them about 3 times already. They were in a drainage tube under the road trying to keep cool. What proceeded to happen I am not going to even mention, but let me just say, I wish some horns were honked a little less loudly, some engines remained at their normal idling speed and everyone stayed in the bus.

But, to our amazement (and people should not have been that amazed) the lions came out of hiding, racing to get under the nearest bush for some continued respite. We got a brief glimpse of a mama and her cub sprinting to the nearest patch of shade.

And sure, it was cool, it was neat and yes it completed my “safari bingo card” but I could have done with a little less “hunting” with technology and a little more natural sightings. After all, we were on safari.

The Prized Lion

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