On Foot With Lions

Morkel Erasmus All Authors, Morkel 4 Comments

Yes, you read right.

Who would want to do that? You may ask.

Who wouldn’t want to do that? I would reply.

Being on foot, vulnerable to the king of beasts, is an experience I wish upon all my photographic guests. It really does awaken your senses and your appreciation for being in their domain. I’m definitely not talking about being reckless, inducing mock charges, things that are so often done in the name of thrills.

I am merely speaking of sharing respectful, awe-inspiring moments watching lions do what they do, without distressing them or spooking them (and without them spooking you!). This is one of the wonderful aspects of a responsibly guided photographic safari in Mana Pools, Zimbabwe. Our local operator, Mwinilunga Safaris, put the wellbeing of the animals in a high regard and will ensure we have these quiet, revered moments with the lions, elephants and other animals of Mana.

The following photos were all taken in Mana Pools, at distances you wouldn’t have thought possible in any other place…and not once were we threatened or threatening the mood of the big cats (not even when they were on a kill).





Anyone who’s been in a decent lion sighting on foot will tell you: it’s not about the photos.

Coming away with a few decent shots is always great  –  but the photos are not what make you talk about the encounter long into the night sitting around the bush fire. It’s coming face to face with these magnificent cats – looking them in the eye, without being aloof in the comfort of a game viewer.

That’s what sticks with you.

That’s what will make you come back for more.

There are still some last spaces available on our departures to Mana Pools in October…you know you want to!



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About the Author

Morkel Erasmus

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Just a regular guy, camera in hand, overcome by the beauty of the African continent, and passionate about sharing this beauty with others!

Comments 4

  1. Martha Myers

    I really enjoyed these images, Morkel. Being at eye level gives you an entirely different “feel” for the lion, so compelling and awe-inspiring, especially when they are simply looking at you. I’d be interested to know how long of a lens you were using. Thanks.

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  2. Douglas Bolt

    The encounter with lions on foot (photo # 4 above) occurred on our first morning out and my first chance to get out of the jeep and photograph these magnificent creatures while on foot. I was a bit dubious at first, but it is a moment I’ll remember forever. Looking forward to returning again in July.
    Mana Pools is a very special place.

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