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

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

Senior Digital Ranger

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

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

Senior 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.

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……

Senior Digital Ranger

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

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.

Senior 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.

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!

Senior 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!

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.

Senior 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.

Senior Digital Ranger

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

Senior 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!

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

Senior 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.

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.

Senior 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.

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.

Senior 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.

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.

Senior Digital Ranger

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

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!

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!

Senior Digital Ranger

Hi Katie, thanks for commenting and I hope your lion experience is everything you dreamed it to be. Prince Othawa is otherwordly in his grace and majesty.

Great shots of Othawa Male and Birmingham Male -Tinyo

Senior Digital Ranger

Thank you! I hope to return and get more. Thanks for reading!

I absolutely love your candor and open hearted adventure. ❤️❤️❤️

Senior Digital Ranger

Thank you! It’s nice to know if I put my heart out into the world in written form that it resonates with readers.❤️

Senior Digital Ranger

The expression on the lion’s face (in the last picture w/in the blog) speaks of everything he has been through over time. The look in his eyes, and the battle scars underneath show a fierce old soul who has been through countless rivals while still standing as a survivor in the bush. It can be imagined what you folks felt whilst the lion’s energy and persona. All that was captured was an experience of a lifetime I’m sure!

Senior Digital Ranger

I was in complete awe remembering how the odds are stacked against him. The way he walked and the depth in his eyes held countless stories of survival to get to this moment in time. Majesty in motion …

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