I had four encounters with the lions on my trip, and this also meant there were four times we encountered crazy crowds with drivers with no conscience. The lions are clearly the most popular safari site, and in every instance we encountered them we either came upon a large crowd as well or a large crowd joined us. We all got a bad taste in our mouths as the other guides (not our guides) either surrounded them/trapped them in a circle, drove in between them and cut them off from their family, or revved their engines to wake them up. The crowds are a catch-22, because you want the animals to be popular enough people want to save them. But you also want people to be respectful of the animals/not interrupt their natural routines. (The lions and the Hollywood celebrities could likely really swap stories.) Some people (including our guides) were good about this and even yelled at other drivers that stepped out of line.
We have talked as a group about doing a fundraiser with our photos later this year, and this experience made me even more gung ho about the idea. I want to not just be another person in the crowd.
Oh yeah, and the lions were awesome! We finally saw Simba on my last day out. He and Nala were doing some things not suitable for public viewing though, so I’ll keep those pictures to myself.