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  • Never again did I see a laughing lion.

    The first lion out in the wild that I ever saw was from a small lodge outside the Etosha National Park in Namibia.

    My husband and I sat in an observation hut in front of a waterhole.

    With every minute the sun rose and the day advanced it got hotter. We had our water - bottles and a roof over our heads that protected us from the sun, but not so the animals: they stood out there in the full sun. Springbok, zebras and two giraffes. Why didn´t they come closer? Obviously they were very thirsty, they must have been desperately thirsty!

    They stood as if they wanted to grow roots where they stood. They did not approach the waterhole and us, because a huge lion was lying in between them and the water.

    The lion was not drinking. The lion was not getting all excited viewing so much eatable game in front of him, he did not care, he just kept lying there. I suddenly understood why people in Namibia explained it this way: " A LION is called LION, because nearly all of the time he just LIES (around)".

    The lion did not care a bit about the thirst of all the wild game quite close - but not too close - to him.

    The longer I watched this, the angrier I felt myself getting. This lion was abusing his power!

    We sat there for hours and neither the lion nor any other animal seemed to move. The only thing that moved was the sun, which made the scene hotter by the second.

    Why don´t these animals look for another waterhole?

    It was the end of the Dry Season and the next water hole was too far away.

    Their only hope was patience.

    Finally I could not watch this anymore. I convinced my husband to return to the lodge.

    Other guests reported at dinner that in the late afternoon the lion had moved away and giraffes, zebras and springboks had been able to quench their thirst.

    Before I fell asleep that night I heard a lion roar. I understood now that watching wildlife was far from a trip to Disneyland.

    Photography by Kiki

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