Mating lions

My younger daughter has been on safari several times. However, since she was two years old, when we moved to Spain, these experiences have been far apart.

This time, two years since her last visit, I watch her become totally immersed in the activities of this African world, its smells, languages, the people, walking barefoot on a hot day, eating a spicy dinner, and watching wildlife.

We were “game driving” (watching wildlife from a 4×4 safari vehicle) in the Serengeti Plains. We had come across two bull elephants that conveniently decided to have a mud bath using one of the puddles in the track.

After watching them we encountered a mating pair of lions. My daughter was fascinated. During the three days or so that a lioness is in season the pair mates on average every 20 minutes. We arrived and almost immediately they copulated.

It is fun to watch the coquettish beginning, often with the male or the female pacing in front of the other with an arched back and raised tail. Then the actual mating is really very short, and is quickly followed by a lot of very loud growling and snarls.

These two must have been at the height of their honeymoon, as they mated after ten minute intervals, and one time a lot less. After four copulations we drove off to nearby kopje (rocky outcrop) where the rest of the pride were lounging in the shade. After a couple of minutes watching them, my daughter suggested “Let’s go and watch the mating lions again”, so we did, and they performed several times before we left!


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