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Close encounters of the feline kind

Mpumalanga

Nelspruit - The staff and guides at Tintswalo Safari Lodge are no strangers to coming into close contact with wild animals.

With a prime location on the private, game-rich Manyeleti Game Reserve concession, guests of Tintswalo Safari Lodge get some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities when out on game drives.

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A young Mbiri male lion gets up close and personal with tracker Eric Ubisi. Photograph by Honeyguide guide, Anton van Loggerenberg.

But this week Tintswalo ranger David Jacobs, along with Tintswalo tracker Eric Ubisi and a guest of the lodge, had an extremely close encounter with three young Mbiri lions.

 

 

Honeyguide ranger Anton van Loggerenberg captured the moment perfectly, and when the image was uploaded to Tintswalo Safari Lodge’s Facebook page later in the day, the photo got 897 shares at last count.

“We were out on a game drive with our guest when we spotted three young male lions on Buffalo planes,” recounts David. “We positioned our vehicle in a way that offered our guest optimal viewing, when the lions all stood up and approached the vehicle. One lay down behind the vehicle and the other one moved towards the front and briefly stopped and looked at Eric, so I was unable to back away.”

 

 

A photo posted by @emily_sea_anenome on

 

As Tintswalo Safari Lodge adheres to the strictest safety measures and precautions, the highly experienced staff knew that in this position, the best thing to do was to stay still.

“I asked Eric if he was comfortable and he said he was fine,” continues David. “I observed no aggressive behaviour from the lions. It was a very brief encounter and after a few minutes, the lion walked off and lay down about 10 metres away.”

This was an extremely well-timed photograph, captured perfectly by Anton van Loggerenberg, and the management of Tintswalo Safari Lodge would like to reiterate that it never puts its staff or guests in harms way and that the wildlife is never compromised.

Adapted from a press release for IOL

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