Snarl by MarselvanOosten

Well, not really. Quite often when you see a photograph of a yawning lion, the photographer will try to make you believe that it was snarling. When a lion starts yawning, the first part of the yawn will clearly look like a yawn, but at the very end of it, the expression on the face of the lion will indeed look like a growl or a snarl.

To make people believe that a lion is snarling when it is actually yawning, will spread the wrong idea about these cats, and will unnecessarily portray them as monsters. Humans like to monsterize predators, and that’s why we get Predator Week, Shark Week, The Deadliest This and The Deadliest That on television. It’s a shame, because these beautiful animals are so much more than just killing machines.

This lioness looks pretty vicious, but you guessed it – she’s yawning. Lions spend most of the day sleeping. A male may sleep from 18 to 20 hours a day. However following a large meal, these male cats may actually sleep an entire 24 hours of a day. Female lions are not far behind their male counterparts. They will easily sleep 15 to 18 hours a day. They spend more time caring for the pride and hunting.

In just a few months, I will lead two photo tours in Botswana where we will focus our attention on lions, and especially on lions hunting buffalo.

One of the places we will visit is Duba Plains, an island in the Okavango Delta of Botswana. The island has a herd of about 2,000 Cape buffalo, and a large pride of lions. Both buffalo and lion got there over a decade ago in a year when crossing the channels was possible. Since then both have pretty much been trapped on the island. For reasons nobody fully understands, the Duba lions mainly hunt during daylight – the reverse of the situation in most parts of Africa. This is obviously perfect for photography and our chances to see some lion action are much bigger here than anywhere else in Africa.

If you’ve never been to Botswana, then you absolutely should. It’s wildlife photography heaven. Our first tour is fully booked, but we have three openings on the 25 April – 4 May trip.

If you’re interested, then please check out our website for more information on this trip:
Buffalo, Lions & Wild Dogs

Hope to see you there!



©2016 Marsel van Oosten, All Rights Reserved. This image is not available for use on websites, blogs or other media without the explicit written permission of the photographer.

via 500px

A mother’s sorrow. by africaddict

This lioness carries off her dead 3 week old cub that had been trampled by buffalo, during the attack they sought shelter down a hole and she had been digging for over an hour in a vain attempt to rescue them, sadly she lost all 3 of her litter on this fateful evening.
She carried this cub for over a kilometre before placing it in a dense thicket and then consuming it in some bizarre ceremony, why lions do this is still not really known.
A sad event to witness and document, yet provides a powerful image.

via 500px

Sunset Cat by mariomoreno

A silhouette of a Lioness on a kopje at sunset in the Mara North Conservancy. If you would like to join me next year go to The Maasai Mara Photo Safari



via 500px


We had been driving around Tsavo East for almost two days without having seen any lions at all which is very unusual. As we rounded a corner my daughter who was sitting on the roof with her sister squeaked LIONS !!!!
I had virtually driven over their tails as they lay under a bush on the side of the road sheltering from the sun.
After reversing back as “safe” distance we settled down to see what would happen, and waited, and waited….and waited……
After half an hour of complete inactivity I decided to open the door of the car and get down to eye level to see if I could get a shot. As I started clicking away the “sleeping” lioness lifted her head and started straight at me with a look that I still find hard to either describe or forget.
Needless to say I was back in the car and wife and kids were off the roof faster than I could say “pass the camera”
Happily she settled down to sleep again almost immediately and left me with this lasting memory !!!

via 500px