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Powerful, a young lioness and her 6 week old club walking together is my all time favorite shot to date. This is a real closeup, not taken with some enormous zoom lens. She really was about 6 feet from the end of my lens, her focus locked and walking straight at me. I was in the front seat of a truck, nearly at her level and nothing but air between us, not even a door.
I should have been terrified, but I was so mesmerized by what I was capturing, I just kept clicking. She walked up to about 3 feet from me and then turned to walk along side of the truck, looking at each person above and behind me. Our guide eventually whispered, "don't move". Normally a cub like this would steal the show, but for these moments it was mom.
We had been on safari for a couple of days in South Africa at Beyond Kirkman Kamp. We had heard from others that the new cub had been seen. It was our last morning, drizzling rain, we jumped into our trucks before everyone else in the surge for one more look. Someone in our group spotted a tiny golden spot in the tall wet grass, could have been so easily missed. We backed up and sure enough, there they were. They had been sleeping, but after some yawns and stretching, mom got up and led her cub right to out truck. We watched them for about 45 minutes. It was the morning of all mornings to put the finishing touch on amazing our safari in South Africa.
November 26th, 2021
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