The Lion Charge | Etosha National Park, Namibia
"He flicked his tail nervously. A dignified female lay beside him and watched calmly as he rose, took the first steps towards us and then accelerated to a full charge within a few seconds. His powerful muscles moved rhythmically. The massive paws kicked up dust and sent small pebbles flying high into the air.
His golden and black mane blew about wildly in the wind. Every centimeter of the thoroughly fit and massive body was in motion but for on exception: his ocher-colored eyes. During the entire charge he kept his piercing gaze fixed on us without blinking even once. His head grew larger with every leap. When his face finally filled the camera's viewfinder I screamed: 'Wynand, GO, GO, GO !!!'.
Moments later there was a metallic bang: the lion hit the back of the vehicle with his front paws, and our hearts stopped beating. Then at last, 'Lola' our Land Rover, puffing and panting, picked up enough speed and got away. Through the rear window I saw the magnificent prime male lion slowly come to a halt. After throwing a last glance at us, he leisurely returned to his mate and flopped down beside her. Still trembling from the surge of adrenaline and speechless with the intoxicating mixture of excitement and fright, we stopped the car at a safe distance. 'Mad Max', as this lion was named later after he had charged vehicles repeatedly, had clearly shown us that he would not tolerated humans nearby when he was with a female in heat - when 'love was in the air'. Gradually we relaxed. At the same time a different feeling, a kind of inner warmth, came over us and began to flow through every cell of our bodies: that of deep awe mixed with great enthusiasm. We felt stunned by the lion's primeval strength and power. His perfect beauty had touched our very souls."
This is an excerpt from our book: Etosha. Rhythms of an African Wilderness by us, Claudia & Wynand du Plessis.
In this book we take you into the heart of Etosha and reveal the fascinating secrets of this extraordinary wilderness to you. We'll show you how Etosha's wildlife copes with the seasonal roller coaster between the rainy season and the testing dry season, that may take them close to the edge of survival.
If you are interested in the book, click here.
With wild greetings & best wishes, Claudia & Wynand du Plessis