Lions are truly spectacular to watch and observe, and their family bonds are extraordinary – unlike any other in nature.

“Are they fighting for dominancy?” asked one of our guests, as the youngest cub in the group jumps up to have a little nibble at his brother’s neck. What an experience seeing the interactions of brothers and sisters playing together and meddling with their surroundings.

Using the shade of the vehicle as cover from the harsh African sun, the pride of seven lions (one male; two females and four cubs) laze about the afternoon. With the three adults doing what they do best (sleeping of course), the cubs went about playing, wrestling and biting each other. With the odd growl and yelp asking for help from mom, the cubs seem to enjoy the ‘tough life’ of Africa.

Finally, the female decided that she had enough of all the activity and noise coming from behind her back, and decided to get up to teach the cubs a lesson. While one of the male cubs kept focusing on his brother, the lioness decided to drop down right on top of the cub! With everyone in our vehicle bursting out in laughter, the cub cried for relief as he managed to escape from underneath the lioness. Yet as with all mothers, the lioness could not bear to see her cub in pain and gave him a heartfelt hug and a lick.

By Pierre van As

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