We’re Lucky He Was Full

Remember when I promised to share more lion photos from the Tanzania trip? That was, what, five years ago? Today I’m making good on that promise. I’ll spare you the reasons why I’ve been absent, but assure you that it’s all good stuff, with more on the way. I’ll talk about that in coming weeks, but first, lions!

Well, mostly just one lion, and also a buffalo.

We were on our last day of safari, leaving the Ngorongoro Crater to head back to Arusha and spend time with the kids at the School of St. Jude. We’d seen every animal we’d hoped to, and witnessed the raw beauty of the African Savannah over and over again. That evening we were ready to get to the hotel, relax, and attempt to start processing all we’d seen.

We were coming up around a bend on a narrow road, and saw this. (No zoom needed, by the way.)

We're Lucky He Was Full

Our guide, Jim, stopped the Land Rover next to one very dead buffalo and one very distracted predator tucked behind.

We're Lucky He Was Full

And then one less-distracted predator.

We're Lucky He Was Full

Here’s where I asked myself a valid question. “Is it smart to be hanging out a window mere yards from what may or may not be a human-curious carnivore?”

We're Lucky He Was Full

That question was eclipsed by a new question. “Surely our expert guide would have started the engine by now if we were about to become the second course, right? Or at least said, Deonne, you idiot, pull your meal-like body back in the vehicle?”

We're Lucky He Was Full

When our new friend came around the buffalo toward us is when I tucked myself back into the safety of the open window, no prompting needed. (I didn’t actually close the window, because that would have been too logical.) Note the flies on his back and all that blood staining the mud and his legs, tongue, and face. Not exactly tidied up for National Geographic.

Leo then proceeded to saunter through the bloody muck past our Land Rover, directly below our windows on the narrow road, and around the back to the other side. He seemed totally uninterested in us or our snackability.

We're Lucky He Was Full

He lay down in the grass near his mate behind him. Covered in flies and bloody, sure, but obviously happy with his full belly. No room in there for any scrawny tourists, so this scrawny tourist took one last photo and waited for her heart rate to slow down, while Jim started the engine to ferry us to the hotel. I thanked Mother Nature for one last up-close-and-personal experience with her gorgeous creatures, and that lion for being gracious enough to leave us be.

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  1. Delores October 18, 2017 at 8:22 pm #

    These pictures are magnificent! Wow! I loved seeing all the flies and blood, really gruesome but yet nature. Leo is magnificent, that’s all there is to it.

    • deonne October 19, 2017 at 9:32 am #

      Delores – I’m so glad you liked them! Leo *is* magnificent, well said.

  2. Deborah Dash October 18, 2017 at 8:22 pm #

    Holy ….

    • deonne October 19, 2017 at 9:47 am #

      Deborah – Exactly. 🙂

  3. Donna October 21, 2017 at 8:07 pm #

    Beautiful pics! I love that you could capture the moment, but wow! That was close!

    • deonne October 22, 2017 at 7:29 am #

      Thank you, Donna! It was close, but what an unforgettable encounter. Glorious.

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