About the Author

Diana DeVaul

Guest contributor

Diana is a wife, mom and freelance writer. She grew up in the cornfields of midwestern America feeling deeply connected to the nature surrounding her. She studied psychology and social work at the university level and uses her education and previous work experiences ...

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25 Comments

on Fulfilling a Lifelong Dream of Coming Face-to-Face with a Lion

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Marinda Drake
Master Tracker

There is nothing as exhiliraring as seeing a lion in Africa for the first time. Fantastic experience.

Diana Devaul
Digital Ranger

It is indescribably wonderful and so addictive. We can’t wait to go back!

Joan Schmiidt
Digital Tracker

Diana, I love lions too. We have been to Londolozi 4 times and will return for our 50th wedding anniversary, next year.

Diana Devaul
Digital Ranger

I love this! John and I know it’s not a matter of ‘if’ we will return to Londolozi, but only a matter of ‘when’. Happy early anniversary. Fifty years of marriage is remarkable. Congratulations and so happy you will be returning to such a magical place to celebrate.

Kiki Courtelis
Explorer

Thank you for such an articulate description. “In the absence of thought, I became a configuration of sensation.”
I see more safari in your future……

Diana Devaul
Digital Ranger

Thank you, Kiki! My mission as a writer is to articulate those things that can only be felt with the heart.

Leonie De Young
Senior Digital Ranger

A nice blog Diana and I feel certain that your husband had the trip of a lifetime. You were able to calm your nerves by placing trust in the tracker and ranger who would not knowingly place their guests in danger. You will both have these images for a very long time. Londolozi is a very special place with very special people working there. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

Diana Devaul
Digital Ranger

It’s been a few months since our trip and I am still digesting the wonder of it. So much of that trip was about facing my fear. I learned that fear is always with us but we can always choose to act in accordance with our hearts instead of listening to this fear.

Michael and Terri Klauber
Guest contributor

Diana, Thanks for sharing your experience! There is nothing more exhilarating than finding those beautiful cats – especially the males! We are sure you will be hooked like so many of us and find a way to return to Londolozi!

Diana Devaul
Digital Ranger

Thank you! Maybe our paths will cross at Londolozi some day. I agree, the male lions are so regal. They make you feel like anything is possible!

Karen Taylor
Explorer

Lovely pictures, one thing I’ve never seen are lions drinking. We are returning to Londolozi in January and hope to see lions or any animals drinking at a waterhole.

Diana Devaul
Digital Ranger

Thank you! There is something magical about animals feeling so comfortable that they are able to pause and drink right in front of you. I loved how the females stayed close to one another but always had eyes trained on us and their surroundings. They exemplified how community is necessary to survival. Hopefully you will have success on your next Londolozi trip.

Johanna Browne
Explorer

What a lovely and lyrical piece. So honest and inspiring. Thank you for transporting me and making this a precious moment in my day.

Diana Devaul
Digital Ranger

Thank you, Johanna, for honoring my words and experience with your time and your presence. I am grateful that I got to live this magic up close and that I am able to share it with others through my writing. I love this blog and community so much!

Victoria Auchincloss
Senior Digital Ranger

You are so right! On our first trip to Londolozi we came across a group of 4 males, all asleep on their backs feet in the air. Jess stopped the car fairly near and we were taking photos. One of the males woke up and came over to « day hello”. Like you I was nervous, but Jess said everyone stay quiet and calm. My husband was sitting on the side where the lion stopped and looked at him.! Phil said he was wondering where he could go if the lion decided to visit in the car. They stared at each for a minute and the lion decided we were interrupting his nap, went back and lay down on one of his brothers and went back to sleep. we all took a deep breath and smiled. What a moment. Victoria

Diana Devaul
Digital Ranger

I am right there with you! Reading your recollection brings it all back. We are taught to fear these animals, and rightly so, therefore it is very hard to go against our ingrained instinct and stay calm as they approach us. What a great moment to share with your husband.

Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

Hooray for you and John! Any lion encounter is extraordinary, especially the first time whilst on Safari, and an experience you will never forget. I’m heading back again early next year and hope to meet up once again with a Birmingham male as well as his ladies and cubs.

Diana Devaul
Digital Ranger

I love that you have a special bond with a specific lion. I hope you are able to connect with him and his pride on your return trip. I wish you the best of luck and so happy you will be on safari again soon.

Judith Guffey
Senior Digital Ranger

Wonderful story. I was in the vehicle with you. Londolozi is magic and each time my journey there is over I leave my heart there to be cared for.

Diana Devaul
Digital Ranger

Thank you. I agree! My heart is there nestled among the trees, bushes and animals, waiting patiently for my return. I hope our paths cross again.

Brian Cantrell
Senior Digital Ranger

Diana –
Thanks so much for sharing your experience! My wife and I visited Londolozi for the firs time earlier this year….reading your account brought back such wonderful memories.

Diana Devaul
Digital Ranger

Thank you, Brian! I’m glad it helped you remember some of the awe of your experience. Thank you for reading!

Vin Beni
Guest contributor

Fantastic description of any lion encounter. We’ve been to Londolozi 4x, yet still hold our breath as a male lion approaches the vehicle. On our last visit, my eyes locked with the eyes of a large male as he walked by the vehicle directly next to me. A moment of exhilaration combined with a touch of awe and fear!

Katie East
Explorer

Your first time seeing lions in the wild and you got to see Prince Othawa!!!!!!!!!!! THAT is my dream. Thanks for sharing your story, I will be seeing lions for the first time next May, unfortunately not Othawa but Im sure the experience will be thrilling none the less!

Artur Gjoni
Explorer

Great shots of Othawa Male and Birmingham Male -Tinyo

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