About the Author

Paul Danckwerts

Ranger

Zambian-born, Paul grew up a fisherman, a birder and a lover of all things outdoors. Following his passion for wildlife he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Rhodes University before heading for the lowveld. Paul boasts a number of years guiding ...

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13 Comments

on Which Species Most Rivets the Imagination?

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Marinda Drake
Master Tracker

We have been visiting Kruger for over 37 years. We have noticed in the last 10 years that we do not see as many lions as we used to in the early years. We believe that the numbers are dwindling, although it is a excellent protected area. We see more leopards on Kruger than lions. We enjoyed fantastic lion sightings over the years at Londolzi. The best lion sightings were recently in the Kgalagadi. I always say it is about the little things but nothing beat a lion sighting. It is the ultimate African experience.

Darlene Knott
Digital Tracker

I would venture to guess that when people in the States think of Africa, the first picture to come to their minds is of the magnificent male lion, then perhaps elephants, etc. And you are so right, Paul, staring eyeball to eyeball with one is mesmerizing, somewhat terrifying, but all in all a fantastic experience. I hope the numbers continue to grow!

Vin Beni
Guest contributor

The first up close sighting of a male lion is breathtaking!
The word “majesty” resonates, befitting the king.

Joan Schmiidt
Digital Tracker

Paul, such an insightful piece.

Suzanne Gibson
Guest contributor

Great blog, Paul. While leopards will always be my favourite cat, there’s nothing to beat seeing a large male lion walk right past you in the vehicle – and then look straight at you! Their sheer power is awesome.

Ian Hall
Digital Tracker

To me it is the elephant and I dream of one majestic tusker…

Bob and Lucie Fjeldstad
Guest contributor

Lions are the animal most folks instinctively associate with Africa and the lions roar is a sound that is universally recognized. We must do whatever we can to avoid their extinction.

Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

The roar of a lion or lions, heard for the first time on safari, sends shivers down one’s spine or turns skin into goosebumps. That sound reverberates throughout the bush/veld. What are they saying? Is it a call to meet a brother or to entice a mate? A single male lion is stunning, but two or three together is breathtaking! I’m mesmerized by their eyes- I like to gaze back holding that stare for as long as I can. And then there are the cubs, curious, playful and hanging close to mom. My best lion moment was being in the middle of the Mhagene pride, sixteen strong a couple of years ago.

But then there’s the lure of the elusive leopards, now you see it and then you don’t. Leopards fascinate me in a way lions do not…. perhaps it’s their solitary nature, not depending on a pride to help hunt or care for their young. In watching leopards I find more expression in their eyes. Perhaps I’m reading my thoughts into them.

At any rate, I cannot choose a favorite just like I can’t choose my favorite African country for animal viewing. Where I am, and what I’m viewing is always the best!!

Paul, please forgive me but I need to say – I don’t like the word savagery. They just do what they do. I get bothered the same amount when people refer to violent, inhumane behaviour by homo sapiens, as animals. Not so. Lovely article and they are truly magnificent creatures.

Hi Patricia. I do agree with you. Thank you for commenting.

Michael and Terri Klauber
Guest contributor

We are sure that combined conservation etiquet of the Sabi Sands lodge owners is a big reason why the wildlife and especially the “cats” are so prevalent. Cheers for the protection they receive to be free from most human intervention!

Callum Evans
Guest contributor

I wish that lions still roamed near Cape Town.

That makes two of us Callum! Thank you for commenting

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